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Full text of "Goals 2000 : Educate America Act : hearing before the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, on S. 846, to improve learning and teaching by providing a national framework for education reform, to promote the research, consensus building, and systemic [i.e. systematic] changes needed to ensure equitable educational opportunities and high levels of educational achievement for all American students, to provide a framework for reauthorization of all federal education programs, to promote the development and adoption of a voluntary national system of skill standards and certifications, and for other purposes, May 4 and 14, 1993"

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S. HrG. 103-191 


Y4.L 11/4:S. HRG. 103-191 

Goals 2000: Educate Anerica Acti S. . . . ^^^^^ 








S. 846 



MAY 4 AND 14, 1993 

I Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources 


6&-544CC WASHINGTON : 1993 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-041482-2 

S. HrG. 103-191 


U 11/4: S. HRG. 103-191 

.s 2000: Educate Anerica Acti S _ 








S. 846 


MAY 4 AND 14, 1993 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources 


68-544CC WASfflNGTON : 1993 

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 
Superintendent of Documents. Congressional Sales Office. Washington. DC 20402 
ISBN 0-16-041482-2 


EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts, Chairman 


CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut DAN COATS, Indiana 

PAUL SIMON, Illinois JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire 




HARRIS WOFFORD, Pennsylvania 

Nick LITTLEFIELD, Staff Director and Chief Counsel 
Susan K. HattaN, Minority Staff Director 



Tuesday, May 4, 1993 

Kennedy, Hon. Edward M., a U.S. Senator fronj the State of Massachusetts ... 1 

Kassebaum, Hon. Nancy Landon, a U.S. Senator from the State of Kansas 2 

Gregg, Hon. Judd, r. U.S. Senator from the State of New Hampshire 4 

Mikulski, Hon. Barbara A., a U.S. Senator from the State of Maryland 5 

RUey, Hon. Richard W., Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, Washing- 
ton, DC 5 

Dodd, Hon. Christopher J., a U.S. Senator from the State of Connecticut 17 

Durenberger, Hon. Dave, a U.S. Senator from the State of Minnesota 25 

Mills, Richard P., commissioner of education, Montpelier, VT; Tracey L. Bai- 
ley, Melbourne, FL, 1993 National Teacher of the Year, Norman Conard, 
Fort Scott, KS, 1992 Kansas Teacher of the Year, Linda F. Davis, deputy 
guperintendent of schools, division of instruction, San Francisco. CA, and 
George H. Kaye, vice president of human resources, Brigham and Women's 

Hospital, Boston, MA 33 

Prepared statements: 

Mr. Mills 35 

Mr. Bailey 39 

Mr. Conard 43 

Ms. Davis 46 

Mr. Kaye 49 

Friday, May 14, 1993 

Kennedy, Hon. Edward M., a U.S. Senator from the State of Massachusetts, 

prepared statement 61 

Thurmond, Hon. Strom, a U.S. Senator from the State of South Carolina 65 

Durenberger, Hon. Dave, a U.S. Senator from the State of Minnesota 66 

Tucker, Marc, president, National Center on Education and the Economy, 
Rochester, NY; Harry Featherstone, chairman and CEO, Will-Burt Co.. 
Orville, OH, representing the National Association of Manufacturers; and 
John J. Sweeney, president. Service Employees International Union, Wash- 
ington, DC 68 

Prepared statements: 

Mr. Tucker 72 

Mr. Featherstone 80 

Mr. Sweeney 85 

Morra, Linda G., Director. Education and Employment Issues, Human Re- 
sources Division, U.S. General Accounting OfTice, accompanied by Sigurd 
Nelson, Acting Director, GAO; and Larry Z. Lorber, partner, Vemer, 

Liipfert, Bemhard, McPherson and Hand, Washington, DC 97 

Prepared statement: 

Ms. Morra 100 

Mr. Lorber 106 


TUESDAY, MAY 4, 1993 

U.S. Senate, 
Committee on Labor and Human Resources, 

Washington, DC. 

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:05 a.m., in room 
SD-430, Dirksen Senate Office Buildine, Senator Edward M. Ken- 
nedy (chairman of the committee) presiding. 

Present: Senators Kennedy, Dodd, Wellstone, Kassebaum, Jef- 
fords, Coats, Gregg, Thurmond, Hatch, and Durenberger. 

Opening Statement of Senator Kennedy 

The Chairman. We'll come to order. 

One of the highest priorities for this Congress is education re- 
form. Ten years after publication of the landmark report, "A Nation 
at Risk," our schools are, if anything, at deeper risk. In manv 
cities, one in four students drops out of school. Twenty-three mil- 
lion Americans are illiterate. Thousands of college students require 
remedial high school-level courses. Seventy percent of employers 
report that new high school graduates can't understand written or 
verbal instructions. 

In short, too many of our schools are unable to prepare their stu- 
dents for the challenges of our society. Unless we halt the slide, 
America's competitive position in the world and our standard of liv- 
ing will continue to decline. 

To deal with this challenge. President Clinton has proposed this 
important bill before us — "Goals 2000: The Educate America Act." 
This measure is an important first step toward revitalizing edu- 
cation in communities across America. It also includes important 
provisions to achieve long overdue improvements in the Nation's 
approach to skills in the workplace. "Gk)als 2000" thus lays the 
foundation for both education reform and job training reform. 

I would mention at this point that we intend in this committee 
to hold a special hearing on the issue of standards and assess- 
ments, that aspect of the legislation. We understand that Secretary 
Reich is testifying on that issue over in the House, and we'll do a 
similar hearing very shortly on those particular provisions. 

By codifying the National Education Goals, the legislation will 
strengthen our commitment to reach them. By providing for the de- 
velopment and certification of voluntary standards for learning in 
seven basic courses — math, science, English, history, foreign lan- 
guages, art and geography — this legislation will help to end the 
growing confusion about what students should be learning in their 
classes. It will also help to make sure that students have the 


chance to reach these standards by encouraging well-trained teach- 
ers and effective class materials. 

For the workplace, the legislation promotes national skill-based 
standards for job training. Workers £md those seeking work deserve 
clear guidance as to the skills that should be acquired to enter and 
get ahead in particular occupations, and particularly when so many 
of the young people entering the job market are going to be moving 
on to other jobs, the aspect of portability that this will create will 
be of enormous value to them. 

Finally, the legislation provides greater flexibility for local school 
districts and funding to help them begfin to carry forward the long 
and difficult process of reform. 

We are fortunate that Secretary Riley has come here today to 
discuss the administration's bill and to answer our questions. We 
are also fortunate to have a witness from a State that is leading 
the Nation in its efforts, Dr. Richard Mills from Vermont. Finally, 
we will hear testimony from those at the grassroots level — teach- 
ers, administrators and employers who know what is needed and 
who will advise us on these ideas. 

Senator Kassebaum. 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would just like 
to ask that my full statement be made a part of the record. 

I am very supportive of the efforts of the Secretary of Education. 
Secretary Riley knows education well, and through his service as 
Governor of South Carolina, has shown what can be done to im- 
prove a State's educational system, and I admire the efforts of both 
the Secretary and President Clinton to focus on the importance of 
educational reform. 

I would just like to point out two things that the Secretary 
knows I have some concerns about. One is the overly prescriptive 
nature of the education reform bill, which, I wish we could improve 
a bit. The other aspect is establishing State and local policymaking 
panels that are outside those which already exist. Wishing, Mr. 
Chairman, to reduce as much bureaucracy as possible, we will con- 
tinue to try to be supportive and yet find some changes that we 
could make to address this. 

Thank you. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Kassebaum follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Kassebaum 

It is a pleasure to welcome Secretary Riley and our other distin- 
guished witnesses to this morning's hearing on the Clinton admin- 
istration's education reform bill, "Goals 2000: Educate America 

There is a national consensus regarding the importance of edu- 
cation £md the need to spur reforms which will produce the quality 
of education that Americans need and expect. The Federal Govern- 
ment can bring national focus to education, offer support for inno- 
vation and experimentation, and encourage improvement in our 
educational system. I recognize that President Clinton and Sec- 
retary Riley have worked hard to craft a bill that will accomplish 
all 01 these tasks. However, I have a number of concerns with the 

My single biggest concern with the bill is that its bureaucratic 
and prescriptive nature and top-down approach may stifle rather 
than assist reform efforts which are already being undertaken at 
the State and local levels. 

All over this country, States and localities are actively engaged 
in exciting and innovative reform efforts. They have undertaken 
these efforts without a great deal of Federal prescription, and I do 
not think that the Federal Grovemment should infringe on those ef- 
forts or redefine what States should be doing. 

In my own State, the Kansas State Board of Education has 
adopted a performance accreditation system designed to measure 
school outcomes in terms of student i>erformance, rather than fo- 
cusing on inputs which may or may not affect achievement. The 
State has developed its own math and communications assess- 
ments. A major new school finance equalization plan was adopted. 
In addition, the Kansas Legislature joined forces with the Grovernor 
to create a State blue-ribbon education panel to review and oversee 
State school reform proposals. 

I also have a particular concern about the possible impact of the 
block grant program on teachers. I had the same concern about last 
year's education reform bill, S. 2, Looking at the bureaucracy that 
is established and the prescriptiveness of the State plan, I cannot 
help but believe that they will fuel a bureaucratic paperwork night- 
mare for teachers without providing many benefits for them or 
their students. I wonder whether parents and teachers will be en- 
thusiastic about this legislation once its effects trickle down to our 
local schools. 

I also believe that this bill inappropriately requires the establish- 
ment of State and local policy making panels outside those which 
already exist. We cannot legislate the Kinds of individuals who are 
involved in schools on a day-to-day basis, nor can we regulate their 
day-to-day behavior. I also question whether it is the Federal Gov- 
ernment's role to tell communities that the school board they elect- 
ed is not good enough to make their education decisions for them. 

Finally, I fear that this bill sets the stage for Federal involve- 
ment in the areas of standards and testing which are areas more 
appropriately left to State and local governments. I have never 
been comfortable with the testing provisions in either last year's 
bill or this one. The tests that really matter are the ones that are 
useful to teachers to help them diagnose student difficulties, assess 
student progress, or determine what to do next. I do not believe 
that the tests that this bill encourages serve those purposes, and 
thus, I have a hard time believing that they can contribute to an 
effective major reform movement as intended. 

Provisions in the bill relating to the development of school deliv- 
ery or opportunity-to-leam standards also open the door to future 
attempts to decide at the federal level educational "inputs" ranging 
from class size to teacher credentials. I do not believe that States 
should be encouraged to develop such standards in the image of the 
model national standards which will be developed by one small 
group, which may or may not come up with tne best approach. 
Even though States are to develop their own opportunity-to-learn 
standards, the bill's ultimate goal is to have those State standards 
eventually mirror the national standards. This is a significantly 

broader, and I would argue intrusive, role for the Federal Govern- 
ment in education. Furthermore, to ask States to develop these 
standards in concert with the as-yet undeveloped national stand- 
ards is to require a monumental task, given the lack of available 
research to show direct correlations between inputs and learning. 

I look forward to Hstening to Secretary Riley and our other wit- 
nesses and I hope you all may be able to address some of these con- 

I look forward to this morning's testimony. 

The Chairman. Senator Gregg. 

Opening Statement of Senator Gregg 

Senator Gregg. Well, this is the critical issue. This is what it's 
all about — the question of improving education in this country. And 
as a former governor, as the Secretary was, it is something that I 
concentrated a tremendous amount of time on. 

I haven't seen the bill, other than what has been reported and 
what my staff has been able to glean in the few days that we have 
had it. I look forward to hearing the Secretary on the specifics of 
the proposals. 

I guess my concerns remain what I think the concerns of most 
local school districts are going to be, which is at what level the 
Federal Government is going to intersect with the school districts 
and to what degree this is going to be a joint venture versus a top- 
down venture, and that we have some standards that are ascer- 
tainable and that if we are going to go to standards, that we have 
assessment that is legitimate and that is comparable from State to 
State and from school district to school district so that we are not 
being totally objective in the exercise but can actually find out 
where different school districts stand and how they compare to 
each other. And the goals, I think, are agreed to; they are at least 
agreed to by the Governors, during the Governors' conference, and 
I understand much of this package is a spinoff of the Governors' 
conference, in which the present Secretary played a role of signifi- 

So I look forward to hearing from the Secretary and hope that 
we can get on with doing something positive here. 

Secretary RiLEY. Thamt you, Senator. 

The Chairman. Mr. Secretary, just a minor point. We were deal- 
ing with the issue of "America 2000" under the previous adminis- 
tration, and you have "Goals 2000." I understand that one of the 
reasons is that you wanted to make sure that the people at the 
local level know that there is a continuity of interest, and to try 
to bring different elements together. That's just a minor point, but 
I think it is a pretty good reflection of the interest of the Secretary, 
a former Governor and someone who has provided such leadership 
in education and reform of education in his own State, and who is 
really trying to bring the different elements together. 

We are delighted to have you here. This is the third occasion on 
which you have appeared before the committee, so no one doubts 
your commitment on this, and we are very eager to hear your com- 

Before we begin I have a statement from Senator Mikulski. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Mikulski follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Mikulski 

Mr. Chairman, I would like tx) welcome Secretary Riley here 
today to tell us about this important education reform initiative 
that provides a framework for meeting the Nation's education goals 
and gives a boost to our ailing education system. 

This bill establishes broad national goals for our school systems 
to work toward . . . like getting kids ready for school, tackling the 
drop out rate, and becoming the first in the world in math and 
science. It gives schools the necessary framework to assure that 
we're all moving in the same direction. 

These goals allow schools the flexibility to develop and to try in- 
novative methods of education. This bill is an important step to- 
ward improving all our schools and allowing us to borrow the best 
ideas from each other. 

Mr. Chairman, I think it's important that all American children 
start school ready to learn. That's why I am glad this is one of the 
goals in this bill. 

In Maryland, we have forged many partnerships in education 
and are in the forefront developing innovative ways to improve our 
educational system. 

Maryland's Schools for Success program is aimed at comprehen- 
sive school improvement and reform. The support that Maryland 
could get from this bill would add the financial spark Maryland 
schools need. 

With this bill, we're also making a commitment to improving our 
work force. The students of today are our scholars and work force 
of tomorrow. 

I know this is supposed to be an education bill, but it's also a 
jobs bill. 

Right now, we know that 25 percent of current jobs will dis- 
appear before the end of this century — they just won't exist any 
more. What jobs are these? They're the jobs that don't require a 
high school diploma. 

Mr. Chairman, one of the goals of this bill is to increase the rate 
of high school graduation. This is critical to our Nation's well being 
because our jobs are at stake. Our students must stay in school in 
order to compete for the high tech jobs that will take the place of 
the lost jobs I just spoke about. 

Making our students number one in the world in math and 
science is another goal in this bill. I know we can do it, but we 
need national commitment and focus. 

Goals are important. They keep us focused on our future, the fu- 
ture of Maryland's students, and the future of students all across 

We're in a war for America's future and it's time we stop talking 
about the need for school reform and instead actually do something 
about it. 


Secretary RiLEY. Thank you so much, Chairman Kennedy, Sen- 
ator Kassebaum, and other members of the committee. I do appre- 

ciate this additional opportunity to discuss with you today the 
President's education reform bill, "Goals 2000: Educate America 

The last time I was here, we talked, conceptually, really, about 
the legislation that was being formulated. Since then, we have re- 
ceived advice and suggestions from all tjrpes of individuals and or- 
ganization, many of you and your staffs as well, and based upon 
those comments, we attempted to strengthen this legislation. 

Increasingly, our students are growing up in a world in which 
what they can earn depends upon what they can learn. In this 
technological age and international marketplaces, communities. 
States and coimtries that better prepare more of their students will 
have the edge — ^they will have the jobs and the quality of life for 
which they hope. 

Unfortimately, too many of our students in America receive a 
watered-down curriculum, and for far too many of our students, we 
have low expectations. Many other countries against which we 
compete for jobs expect all of their students to take challenging 
academic and/or occupational course work. 

We cannot afford to leave anv single student behind. Students 
must know well a variety of subjects, from chemistry and foreign 
languages to geometry and the arts, and from English and geog- 
raphy to history. Many more students must be competent in botn 
academic and educational areas as the world becomes smaller and 
smaller and more immediate. 

If we don't meet the challenges, then we face, as futurists say, 
an unacceptable future for many of today's children and many of 
our communities. The "Groals 2000: Educate America Act" is about 
our first step as a nation to make an acceptable, brighter future 
for America's children and youth in a very comprenensive, cohesive 

Several weeks ago, we released the math results from the 1992 
National Assessment of Educational Progress, NAEP, While 
progress was made from 1990 to 1992, far too few students reached 
the higher performance levels, and the gap in performance between 
students of different racial/ethnic groups remains unacceptably 

It did appear, however, that students who took more difficult 
courses, who did more homework and who watched less television 
performed better on the NAEP exam. Early signs are that the more 
challenging math standards and curriculum recommended by the 
Nation's math teachers will make a positive different in student 

The National Education Groals focus on the need to challenge and 
help all children, regardless of their circumstances, to meet high 
standards. That is vmy putting the goals and the bipartisan goals 
panel in formal Federal policy to monitor and report on progress 
is so important and is part of this "Goals 2000: Educate America 
Act" legislation. 

To achieve these goals will require a fundamental overhaul of 
our education system. Partnerships will be needed between our 
schools and parents, educators, community groups, social and 
health agencies, business, higher education, and early childhood 

At the federal level, we can best help by supporting local and 
State reformers and motivating, leading and providing information 
and incentive money for State and local communities that are look- 
ing for ways to improve. The "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" 
is about changing. It is designed to expand the use of challenging 
curricula, instruction, and assessments geared to world-class stand- 
ards, and to do that for all students. 

The "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" will help to identify vol- 
untary internationally competitive standards. Studies often report 
that American students don't do as well as students of other indus- 
trialized countries. Yet, currently, we have no way to provide edu- 
cators, parents, students or policymakers throughout our Nation 
with information about the content and rigor that students in other 
countries study and to match this information to our own American 
expectation for our students. Students, teachers, parents, commu- 
nities and States can use these voluntary standards developed by 
the National Education Standards and Improvement Council to 
judge their own performance. 

Similarly, we don't have information available about what con- 
stitutes internationally competitive opportunity-to-learn standards. 
Through the "Goals 2000 Act," voluntary exemplary opportunity-to- 
leam standards will be identified in essential areas related directly 
to teaching and learning, such as the quality and availability of 
curricula and materials and professional development of teachers 
to deliver this higher content. This information will be made avail- 
able by the National Education Standards and Improvement Coun- 
cil. Again, how can we compete internationally if we don't know 
what we are competing against? "Goals 2000" will give us that vol- 
untary information. 

Let me discuss briefly opportunity- to-leam. In the sixties and 
seventies, most emphasis on education was on inputs and counting 
quantity. In the eighties, there was growing interest in results and 
quality. In my own State of South Carolina, our education reforms 
probably had a greater results orientation than almost any State 
in the Nation. Yet we, like this legislation, did not ignore the es- 
sentials of teaching and learning — preparation of teacners was im- 
portant to teach tougher content. 

The existence of standards alone, though, will not change our 
schools. The "(xoals 2000" legislation will challenge every State and 
every community to develop comprehensive action plans to over- 
haul their schools so that every student and every school can reach 
these challenging standards. It will activate the forces of reform 
which must occur in classrooms, schools, school districts, college, 
and local and State governments. It will help sustain broad-based, 
grassroots efforts of parents, educators, business, labor and citizens 
all to provide every student the opportunity to reach these stand- 

These changes should not be just for the sake of change, but to 
achieve greater levels of skills suid learning for all students — levels 
that are internationally competitive in academic and occupational 
areas. Students and schools will work harder and smarter if they 
are given the challenge and the opportunity. 

The "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" builds upon lessons 
learned from local and State education reform efforts in the past 


10 to 15 years. Unfortunately, these reforms have been fragmented, 
disconnected, and often not sustained. But these efforts have 
taught us that education reforms are more likely to work if they 
are comprehensive and systemic, the pieces fit together like a puz- 
zle; if they focus on challenging curricula and better instruction for 
all students, to help many more students to reach higher stand- 
ards; if they provide teachers and principals with new professional 
development opportunities, to deliver the challenging content and 
work with diverse student populations; if the involve more edu- 
cators, parents, communities and business with school improve- 
ment efforts; if they are long-term, phased in over 5 to 7 years; if 
they have State assistance to encourage bottom-up local classroom 
innovation and school site planning; if they have accountability 
based on results, and if they provide for greater flexibility to en- 
courage innovation and new ways of organizing the school day and 
the school year. 

The local and State improvement plans under "Goals 2000" will 
begin to address changes that best meet each school's, community's 
and State's unique circumstances. Almost 94 percent of the funds 
authorized for this Act in 1993— $393 million out of $420 million- 
are dedicated to these local and State purposes. 

"Goals 2000: Educate America" is only a first step, but it is a 
critical first step to start America down tne road to renewal in edu- 
cation. We need major new investments in early childhood and in- 
fant and national health as the President has proposed. The Ele- 
mentary and Secondary Education Act and the Office of Education 
Research and Improvement need to be reauthorized. We in the De- 
partment, like you, are reviewing and reevaluating every part of 
ESEA and OERI to revitalize these important programs and to 
help disadvantaged schools reach challenging standards. We need 
to have a new school-to-work transition, a youth apprenticeship 
program. In addition, I understand that Secretary Reich will pro- 
vide you with more detailed information should you need it regard- 
ing the National Skill Standards Board in this legislation. 

As you know, the United States, unique among our competitors, 
lacks a formal system for developing and disseminating occupa- 
tional skill standards. 

This bill does not force a one-size-fits-all approach to education 
reform upon States and communities. The standards and guide- 
lines in this legislation are voluntary, but they invite the 
reinvention of schools to help more students meet challenging 
standards. The actual reforms must come from the bottom up. It 
is the local communities, the States, the business, the citizens, the 
parents, the teachers, and the students who will make reform 

It has been 10 years and 8 days since the report entitled "A Na- 
tion at Risk" was released. We have learned much about education 
reform since that time. It is time to apply these new lessons across 
the land. The "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" will help do that. 

The challenge for us is to lead, Mr. Chairman, and to act here 
in Washington, and the challenge is great. The challenge for edu- 
cators, parents, and students and the public all across America to 
revitalize and reinvent our schools is great. 

In closing, we talk a lot about the year 2000 as if when we arrive 
there, our goals will all of a sudden be met, without our having 
done anything to reach them. I think it is time to realize that to 
provide national leadership to invigorate school reform across 
America focused on high standards is extremely important for us 
all. The "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" is an honest and bold 
step to make this happen. 

We need your quick attention to move it forward. I really think 
in terms of education in this country, the clock is ticking. Thank 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. 

Well have 7-minute rounds for questions, and I'll ask staff to 
keep the time. 

I thank you for an excellent presentation, Mr, Secretary. As I un- 
derstand it, first of all, the emphasis is on voluntary; these are 
going to be voluntary standards, with nothing being required. As 
I understand this, the opportunity-to-leam standards which get 
into, for example, the level of training of a teacher, the number of 
students in the classroom, and those kinds of issues. Obviously, we 
have a concern that if a child goes to school hungry, he is not going 
to learn, but basically what we are talking about here is an assess- 
ment of the school itself. 

Then we have the content standards — ^for instance, in history, 
the facts that the student would need to know about American his- 
tory, or facts about division or algebra if we're talking about 
math — so it would be those basic and fundamental facts. 

Then the third aspect is the performance standards, or how 
much a student must know. 

Overall, we need to know what is going to be in that classroom 
so we can have a fair kind of evaluation of that; we have what we 
are going to expect the student to know, and then we have the de- 
velopment of how we are going to assess whether the student really 
knows that material. Is that generally conceptually what you are 
trying to do — and to permit States, if they want to develop those 
kinds of standards on a volimtary basis, and if they do, they are 
going to be encouraged by the Federal Government; or, if they want 
to use the Federal standards, they can use those. Am I generally 
in the ball park? 

Secretary RiLEY. Senator, you certainly are. Of course, the na- 
tional goals are really the things that we are moving toward. The 
standards, as you say, are not required. What is required is that 
a State address content and performance standards, and that a 
State address assessment and that a State address opportunity-to- 
leam standards, that is, what makes for better teaching and learn- 
ing. That is required if they participate in the action plans. 

The Federal Government then, on the national level, would be 
developing these enormous consensus of what are the proper stand- 
ards for content and performance, as you indicate, and those really 
are the world class standards that, hopefully, the States would 
move toward. At some point in time, of course. States could come 
on a voluntary basis and ask us to look at their standards and see 
if they are consistent with the Federal standards; if so, we would 
certify them. 


The Chairman. I think it's important for people to know that the 
States don't have to take this money, do they? 

Secretary Riley. No. 

The Chairman. All we are trying to do, as I understand it, is say 
that if they do. because the citizens and the communities really 
want to strengthen tlieir education, that there has to be some kina 
of accountability, and instead of using the old means of what used 
to be in terms of accountability, what you are trying to do is really 
make a determination about what a young child is expected to 
know and then an assessment of whether that child knows it — and 
to have it done in a way which is consistent with the State interest 
and consistent in a way that people across the country would un- 
derstand. Am I correct? 

Secretary RiLEY. That's exactly right, and that would be going on 
in the State, and that is the responsibility of the State, and the na- 
tional effort would be kind model information that we would be ar- 
riving at, hopefully, then, pulling everybody in that uplifting direc- 

The Chairman. My time is moving along. Let me just ask you 
a question similar to one from my friend from Illinois, Senator 
Simon, asked at an earlier hearing. Could you briefly walk us 
through how this legislation would impact a poor school district or 
a poor school that is attempting to improve the educational accom- 
plishment and achievements for the students in a major urban area 
in the United States? 

Secretary RiLEY. First of all, it is a standards-driven measure 
which would automatically begin to raise expectations for all chil- 
dren. The whole concept of the bill, as permeated through it, is that 
all children can learn, £md it is a process then of raising expecta- 
tions for children to start with. We aren't going to have some wa- 
tered-down curriculum for some, and some touch curriculum for 

So in a school that is in a poor area with disadvantaged kids, it 
is frankly going to mean an awful lot to them to begin by saying 
we in this country expect you to do quality work and have high- 
level standards. 

Then, the opportunity- to-leam standards would be looking at the 
State, and the State would be looking at the school district, and the 
school district at the school, and they would be determining wheth- 
er the teacher there had the proper opportunities for professional 
development to be handling a diverse class, a class that had var- 
ious levels of capacity and background support. 

So that is part of it, pulling the community together, getting par- 
ents involved, getting businesspeople involved — all of the outside 
support would be part of it — providing the tools, then, through this 
action plan to make this case for the local decisionmakers of what 
is needed, if you see what I mean. The great proportion of funds 
and resources come from local and State sources, 94 percent or so. 
So this would give them direction as to better teaching and learn- 
ing for all students in their particular areas. 

It would provide a framework, then, for channeling, say, Chapter 
1 funds, using the other programmatic resources of the Federal 
Government to move into those areas to help with that. A portion 
of the bill, 6 percent of the funds, go for specific purposes knocked 


down through the State action plans. Of the 6 percent, half of it 
goes to large urban areas and small rural areas for special competi- 
tive projects to have a special impact; and then half of it would be 
at the discretion of the Secretary of Education, to deal with moving 
things around to specially help in a national way various things — 
if something is being done in Massachusetts that would work well 
in Miami, then we would have the facilities to develop those plans 
and to promote that in other areas — those kinds of things. 

The Chairman. Thank you. My time is up. 

Senator Kassebaum. 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Secretary, I certainly can't quarrel with your mentioned of 
needing to have a more challenging curriculum, and that we have 
lowered our expectations of students. You talk about guidelines, 
and about a comprehensive and systemic effort with the pieces fit- 
ting together like a puzzle. Those are all very important, but as 
you know, I have raised some concerns about section 306, the State 
improvement plan, because there are 12 pages of rather prescrip- 
tive language regarding the implementation. Some of it may be re- 
petitive — I am not quite sure how it all works — ^but I am really 
very concerned that with this language, we could be taking away 
some of the flexibility that may be necessary. This being veiy pre- 
scriptive language it seems to me to be more top-down-oriented 
than bottom-up. We could lose vitality that I think, is very impor- 
tant in a local district and in a local school board. 

I believe, it is really far more State-driven than local, and under 
the umbrella, of a very prescriptive nature for the State improve- 
ment plans. 

Is there any thought that we could perhaps take a look at some 
of this language and refine it more, or is this something that, 
through your consultations, you believe is absolutely essential lan- 

Secretary RiLEY. Senator, certainly, we could always take a look 
at the language. I think I feel your sentiment, and I hope it is not 
bureaucratic, although it is a piece of proposed Federal legislation 
which involves the bureaucracy, obviously. But if people out there 
in the States and the school districts and the schools are going to 
get involved in education — and as you know, there is a lot of in- 
volvement in some areas, and in some areas there is very little; it 
is kind of a fragmented system now — they have to be involved with 
someone. And today, if you don't have, then, the creation of these 
panels and councils of citizens out there in the States and local 
school districts, the only people they can be involved with are the 
bureaucrats. This is a way to open up involvement, and you have 
to have some structure for that or you end up with everybody 
harum-scarum out intentionally trying to do a good job but not fo- 
cusing in on the whole system. 

What we have tried to draw up, reallv, is this opportunity for in- 
volvement, and it does then cause panels to be built on various lev- 
els, but it also requires citizens, business, labor expertise people to 
be involved who are outside the government in most cases. 

Senator Kassebaum. And wouldn't you agree that in many areas, 
that is occurring now? 

Secretary Riley. Yes. 


Senator Kassebaum. We have seen a lot of innovation taking 
place, again, much of it coming from the local level. Like you, I am 
a strong believer that if you nave a stake in what is happening, 
you are going to care far more about what takes place, and I think 
that is why local school boards are terribly important in all of this. 
And while there are times that we may all feel that they are too 
intrusive, they are the elected members of the community who are 
there to represent the community in education efforts. I just worry 
a bit about the State apparatus expanding more at the loss of flexi- 
bility and a voice at the local level. 

Now, perhaps you feel that will not take place. I think whenever 
things tend to get overly prescriptive, there is a danger, though, 
that you lose that flexibility and the local vitality. 

Secretary RiLEY. Well, I think you need to be careful about that, 
and sometimes we mix up the term "statewide" with "top-down." If 
we are talking about something being "statewide," we mean bot- 
tom-up but statewide, and that sometimes is misinterpreted. 

There is a book written by Bill Chance from the University of 
Washington, who did an analysis of what worked and what did not 
through the eighties, looking at various States. He defined what he 
thought worked best — and he looked at a lot of different States — 
and it was what he called the "T" formation. He said the top of the 
"T" is kind of a statewide consensus, not State officials, but State 
leaders — ^business people, educators, government, people who are 
leaders statewide. And then the leg of the "T" was the up and down 
involvement in the local level feeding into that system. But with 
the States' full responsibility for the education fiinction and the 
way we do things, you do have to have State leadership, it appears 
to us, to make it work best. That is not to say you can't have a 
local region doing something on their own, and that happens all 
the time in a local school, FTA or whatever. But if you are going 
to have a system that works well, you do need to have the State 
leadership and then absolute help coming up and down. 

The involvement from the bottom is not being monitored as much 
as it is providing information to the system, and that is what you 
are talking about, and that is what I like, and that is what I think 
this would clearly develop. 

Senator Kassebaum. I've gotten a note, Mr. Secretary, that my 
time is up. Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

Senator Wellstone. 

Senator Wellstone. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Secretary, first of all, let me thank you for your work. I real- 
ly have a tremendous amount of appreciation for this effort. 

I'm going to start with the same question of what will this do for 
a child in East St. Louis, or for that matter. East L.A, or for that 
matter, in rural Minnesota. But rather than leaving it at a general 
level, what I want to do since I have 7 minutes is to put three 
questions to you that I think are interrelated. 

First, I am really pleased that you are putting the focus on op- 
portimity-to-learn standards. In other words, if we are going to talk 
about curriculum standards, then we also want to talk about oppor- 
tunity- to-learn standards. They have to go together, and I think we 
agree on that. 


Secretary Riley. Absolutely. 

Senator Wellstone. So my first question is to what extent in 
the list of issues that you are addressing on the opportunity-to- 
leam standards have you considered financing and school facilities? 
In other words, it seems to me that built into opportunity-to-leam 
standards have to be schools that have resources and schools that 
are decent facilities, without rats running around, so that the chil- 
dren can learn. I want to know whether that is worked into the 
definition of opportunity-to-leam. 

The second question I have is do vou think that the opportunity- 
to-leam standard ought to be developed along the same time line 
as other voluntary national standards. I guess what I'm really try- 
ing to say is that my position is that it should. It seems to me that 
the two go together, and therefore built into this legislation, they 
ought to be developed at the same time. 

And the third question I have is you talk a lot about grassroots, 
and I know you are absolutely committed to it, and I am just inter- 
ested in whether or not under this bill, grassroots organizations at 
the State level actually have the opportunity to be involved in the 
school reform effort. 

I think you see where I'm heading with this. I understand the 
curriculum standards as a former teacher, and I know they are vol- 
untary, but I think there have to be opportunity-to-learn standards. 
I want to know how that's defined, and where does finance and the 
lack of equity in financing school facilities fit in; I want to know 
whether we are going to develop the standards at the same time, 
and then finally, I want to know where people at the State level 

fit in. 

Secretary RiLEY. Senator, the first question, dealing with oppor- 
tunity-to-learn standards and iiow they impact resources and facili- 
ties, and how far do you go with that, of course, you can go as far 
as you want to or not at all. We feel like — and we have talked to 
an awful lot of people, have talked to you and have talked to oth- 
ers, and staffs have been working together 

Senator WELLSTOhfE. And I thank you for being very inclusive. I 
ask these questions out of respect and real interest in what you are 

Secretary Riley. I know you are, and I appreciate that. Where 
we think the proper place to be on that is that opportunity-to-leam 
standards should — and in this bill, do — deal with teaching and 
learning. Now, you can get into the resources is^ue and into the fa- 
cilities in just about every school district, and you can say, well, 
you won't get these Federal funds to help you develop systemic, 
comprehensive reform unless you have some major tax increase 
and build buildings, and so on — this is not that. This says simply 
that a State, and then the State says to the school districts, and 
the school districts say to the schools, you must put as a priority 
good teaching and good learning, consistent with going in the direc- 
tion of high standards for all children, and then a form of an as- 
sessment to make sure that's working. That is basically it. It is a 
State-driven system toward high standards, but it is reaching for 
these national goals, with work on the national level to have the 
goals, the standards and so forth to reach for. 


So the answer, I would say, is it is our judgment and feeling that 
centering in on teaching and learning — and no one can argue about 
that; if you have a priority of good teaching and learning in a State 
or school district or wherever, you are on the right money. It isn't 
something that divides people; it is positive, it is always right, and 
it is what we think is the way we should go on opportunity-to-leam 

Then, the time lag issue, again, gets into a question of Federal- 
State issues. The requirement certainly is there, if the State takes 
the money, that they deal with these issues, that they have their 
own State plans. 

Then, how does that link up with the Federal certification? Hope- 
fully, States would want that. Hopefully, that would be perceived 
as a real goal for a State to move toward. We wouldn't be ready 
for that for a couple or 3 years in a lot of cases. But then, say that 
should happen — then the question is do you have to come with all 
three things at one time; would you have to come with your oppor- 
tunity-to-learn standards and your content standards and your as- 
sessment? We fell on the side of, again, a State decision. The State 
then can decide — it is purely voluntary — ^to try to have their con- 
tent standards certified, their assessment certified for certain pur- 
poses for the first several years, and the opportunity-to-leam 
standards certified. They can come for all three, they can come for 
two, they can come for none. We are going to try to provide the 
leadership where they will want ♦'O raise their standards and reach 

The assessment issue — a lot of people are very concerned about 
having, then, a certified test not connected to opportunities to 
learn — ^that if you are testing somebody on 9th grade algebra at the 
end of 9th grade, and the 9th grade teacher didn't know the alge- 
bra content, it is not fair to assess that child on that basis. 

The way we handle that in South Carolina is we came up with 
an exit exam. I didn't used to favor that because I was afraid it 
would be unfair to black kids who came up through a different 
standard of education. Thank God, that has worked toward being 
straightened out — certainly, legally, it is straightened out— -in edu- 
cation. We gave them, though, 5 years. We said everybody, in order 
to get a high school degree in South Carolina is going to have to 
pass a test, but you don t have to pass it this year; you start in the 
9th or 10th grade, and you take the test, and then the first year, 
I think it was 55 percent of the kids passed the test. By the time 
they got to the 12th grade, thev were advised where their short- 
comings were, and if math was their problem, they had special help 
with math while in high school. Ninety-five percent passed the test 
when they got through the 12th grade, and that is kind of how we 
hoped this would work, and that is to say to a State you have to 
be working on content, you have to be working on opportunity-to- 
leam, you have to be working on assessment if you are coming into 
this program. It is a partnership. It is not controlled, but it is driv- 
en by high standards. And then, if you want to have your assess- 
ment certified, you can have it certified for all the purposes in the 
world — and they are set up in here — except passing or retention or 
whatever — that impact the child himself You can't do that until 


you have ample opportunity to work with these opportunity-to- 
leam standards. 

Senator Wellstone. Mr. Secretary, I am out of time, and I 
thank you. Let me just say that I look forward to working with 
you. My fear is that if there isn't some pretty strong language 
about opportunity-to-leam standards being developed at the same 
time line that we will have a further retreat from equity, and as 
you well know, I am very concerned about these equity issues. I 
can't go on, Mr. Chairman, because I will take too much time, but 
I think you know what I'm talking about, and I hope you will keep 
that in mind. 

Secretary RiLEY. We will do that. Senator. 

Senator Wellstone. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Senator Coats. 

Senator Coats. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Secretary, in evaluating the administration's proposal, I 
think there are a number of positive elements here. However, I am 
concerned that in attempting to reform a system that I think we 
all agree needs reform, this legislation would do so by layering ad- 
ditional levels of bureaucracy and administration. It is important 
to note that while institutions around the world are determining 
that they are top-heavy administratively, and therefore are taking 
very painful steps to reduce that administrative burden, this legis- 
lation seems to be moving in the other direction. This proposal es- 
tablishes councils and various bodies to issue some sort of checklist 
which State education institutions and local education institutions 
have to meet in order to qualify for grants. We must ensure that 
our reform efforts aren't just aading additional paperwork and ad- 
ditional administrative burden upon teachers and schools at a time 
when there seems to be a crying need to direct more funds into the 
classroom, to give the teacher and the local school more flexibility 
and to provide more competition within the system. 

IBM, Xerox, General Motors and everyone else are finding that 
in order to be competitive in an increasingly competitive world they 
must trim down and eliminate a lot of administrative bureaucracy. 
It seems to me that education is a similar institution which is now 
competing in a global market, and that streamlining administra- 
tion is a desired goal. 

I wonder if you could just comment on that and give me some 
ideas on your thinking along those lines? 

Secretary Riley, Senator, first of all, I don't see any checklist 
mentality nere. We do have the provision for panels on the State 
level and then on the school district level under the State design. 
And those panels are designed to involve people; they are involve- 
ment panels. And if people are directed toward building a strong, 
cohesive education system with all kinds of community, statewide 
and local involvement, you do have to have some structure there 
for the people to go to, or they don't have any other structure than 
the government. It is government involved in getting people in- 

And you have to really remember that the $393 million that we 
are talking about out of $420 million — almost 94 percent of the 
total — goes down to the State, and then after the first year, 85 per- 
cent of that goes down to the school district; and then 85 percent 


of that goes to the individual schools. And the purpose of that and 
the way that is designed is to take care of exactly what you are 
talking about — to make sure we don't have any giant bureaucracy 
built up on a State level or whatever, but push the action and the 
action funds down to the actual school. And every school, then, 
would be working on a cohesive system with these standards. 

Senator Coats. My concern is that to qualify for the grant under 
the block grant, the State has to develop a plan which then has to 
meet the criteria developed by the implementation council — is that 
what it is called? 

Secretary RiLEY. Yes, that is right, but your State could be to- 
tally different from my State, if you see what I mean. The require- 
ment is that it be comprehensive, that it hang together, that it 
make sense, and that it have some reasonable interpretation of 
being successful and so forth. But it is not a checklist of what is 
in there; it is your own State's approach to this systemic com- 
prehensive reform. 

Senator Coats. My understanding is that the bill allows flexibil- 
ity for choice within the public school system; is that a correct in- 

Secretary RiLEY. That's right; and charter schools and magnet 

Senator Coats. But it would not allow any experimentation in 
choice outside the public school system; is that accurate? 

Secretary RiLEY. That's right. It does not involve tax dollars in- 
volved in private school vouchers. 

Senator Coats. Is the Department looking at any demonstrations 
of choice that operate outside the public system? 

Secretary RiLEY. Senator, I don't think I could honestly say we 
are looking at that. I read what comes across my desk, and so does 
my staff. We do have a private school office, as you know, within 
the Department, and meet frequently with representatives from 
private schools and private colleges. So we are very much inter- 
ested in all children in the system 

Senator Coats. Are you evaluating the results that we are get- 
ting out of, let's say, inner-city private schools dealing essentially 
with minority students, in comparison to a public school dealing 
with the same cross-section of students? 

Secretary Riley. Mike Cohen, Mr. Chairman, who is one of my 
special assistants, informs me that research is being done in OERI 
on that issue, and we are following what is taking place there. 

Senator Coats. Well, I would encourage you to do that. As you 
and I discussed at the last hearing where you testified, there are 
some outstanding examples of inner-city schools reaching out to 
inner-city minority students at a cost significantly less — up to two- 
thirds less — than what is provided on a per-pupil basis in the pub- 
lic schools. Single parents and minority parents are begging to get 
their kids into those schools; they are making enormous financial 
sacrifices to do so — it is a small dollar amount, but for them it is 
an enormous sacrifice. 

So I would hope that you would study this issue and find out 
what these schools are doing, at far less cost, that is producing 
within parents an immense desire to give their children an oppor- 
timity Tor an alternative education situation. I would certainly be 


interested in the results, and I would encourage the Department to 
study this matter. 

Secretary RiLEY. Thank you, Senator. Of course, my hope is, and 
I really do think if this legislation is passed, and we really get the 
kind of leadership that I would hope — bipartisan leadership, and 
the very top of this structure, as you know, is bipartisan across the 
board — I would hope that we would have the same kind of excite- 
ment and interest in every, single public school out there that you 
observe in certain private schools. And that's the same kind of com- 
petitive spirit within the public system, and that is what I would 
hope we move toward. 

Senator Coats. Well, I hope we can, too. My time has expired, 
but I have just have real questions as to whether or not we can 
achieve educational reforms within a single system that is compet- 
ing with itself and not competing with an alternative. It is like tell- 
ing GM, "You aren't going to have any competition from Honda or 
BMW or any other car maker — just reform yourself-;-you've got the 
whole market — just reform yourself." I really question whether we 
can do that without competition from outside the system. 

My time has expired, and I appreciate your remarks. 

Secretary Riley. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Mr. Secretary, this committee has gone into that 
issue over a long period of time, and we aren't going to take the 
time now to talk about the disparity between the public and pri- 
vate schools in inner-cities. We do have diffierences here on the 
committee, and we have gone through them at very great length. 

Senator Dodd. 

Senator Dodd. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. First, I'd 
like to ask that my statement be included in the record. 

The Chairman. It will be so included. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Dodd follows:! 

Prepared Statement of Senator Dodd 

Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to welcome Secretary Riley to our 
committee once a^ain, as well as our other witnesses who have 
come to share their thoughts with us on the Goals 2000: Educate 
America Act. 

As we daily grapple with the issue of the health of our economy, 
we cannot overlook the critical importance of education. More than 
anything else, education is the foundation of tomorrow's economic 

And it is clear that our schools and our children are in desperate 
need of help. Nearly 20 percent of children live in poverty. In 1991, 
35 percent of kindergarten students came to school unprepared to 
learn. In some States, as many as one out of five students repeat 
first grade. In my State, 9.2 percent of our 16 to 19 year olds are 
drop outs. Fifty percent of high school graduates never attend col- 

These problems are not new. In the late 1980s, the Nation's Grov- 
ernors and former President Bush came together £ind identified the 
six national education goals and set the year 2000 as the target 
date for meeting these goals. The year 2000 seemed a long way off. 

There was time to improve school readiness, student achieve- 
ment and completion, time to make students first in the world in 


math and science, to enhance Hfelong learning and to assure stu- 
dents of safe, discipHned and drug-free schools. 

Yet, here we are in May of 1993, just 6V2 years shy of our target 
date. While the goals have become widely accepted, we are making 
little progress nationally toward meetmg them. There is little 
agreement on what exactly they mean to students and teachers, on 
how we will measure progress and how we will actually reach the 

Groals 2000: Educate America Act codifies the National Education 
Groals and then moves beyond them to offer schools across America 
real help in reaching the goals through a program of State and 
local systematic improvement grants. Each State is invited to de- 
velop a State improvement plan to meet its own unique needs. 
Plans will also be developed at the local level to make meaningful 
changes in local schools. These plans will be developed with the as- 
sistance and participation of parents, teachers, business and com- 
mimity leaders, and others in the community. 

Groals 2000 also builds a framework for measuring achievement 
in the establishment of the National Education goals panel and the 
National Education Standards and Improvement Council. It is 
clear we cannot expect our children to meet high standards of 
achievement unless we define what those standards are. The Na- 
tional Education Standards and Improvement Council will work 
with experts in the field to identify the elements of world class con- 
tent standards in English, math, science, foreign languages, arts, 
history and geography. The Council will also develop opportunity 
to learn standards which will help measure the ability of our 
schools to provide students with a world class education. 

In addition, this legislation promotes the development of a sys- 
tem of national skill-based standards and certifications to serve as 
a cornerstone of the national strategy to enhance work force skills. 
These standards are a natural complement and will help guide 
those seeking meaningful vocational skills. 

Mr. Chairman, it seems to me this legislation is long overdue. I 
look forward to hearing today's testimony and to moving this legis- 
lation forward quickly. 

Thank you. 

Senator DODD. Mr. Secretary, I welcome you here. Let me just 
pick up on the comments of Mr. Coats — because the chairman is 
correct, we certainly have debated that the issue of school choice 
at great length here, and I presume will continue to do so — but I 
think Mr. Coats' comments highlight a point, and it has much to 
do with what you are striving to do with this legislation. 

I think the primary reason that parents are seeking alternative 
educational situations for their children is because of their deep 
dissatisfaction with the alternatives being provided for them at the 
public school level. That's all. It isn't because they want to spend 
more money, or because they are fundamentally or philosophically 
opposed to public education. They are unhappy about what is hap- 
pening in the public school system; hence, this effort. And I think 
if we can do something to improve schools, then a lot of the con- 
cerns raised by those who are legitimately worried about the edu- 
cational future of their children will be significantly minimized, 
and I think you are trying to do that with this effort. 


It is certainly no roysteiy that there are problems in our schools 
when you see that some 35 percent of our students entering kinder- 
garten are totally unprepared for the educational experience; one 
out of five students have to repeat the first grade in an awful lot 
of States in this countr>'. Fifty percent of our high school students 
don't go on to any higher education experience whatsoever. In my 
State alone, 10 percent of all 16- to 19-year-olds are high school 
dropouts. And in the last decade, we have seen fatahties among 
children under tihe age of 18 increase by 93 percent — ^that is mur- 
ders. The adult rate has dropped 10 percent in that same 10-year 
period. One out of five children bring a lethal weapon to school 
every day, and somewhere between 100,000 to 150,000 students 
bring guns to school every day in this country — every day. 

So I think it is the condition of the school environment which 
creates fear in parents about what is happening or could happen 
to their children every day in school, let alone content reforms and 
the rest that we talk about in all of this. 

So I am deeply sympathetic to the direction you are moving, and 
I think we sometimes get bogged down fighting on the perimeters 
here instead of looking at the central question of what causes peo- 
ple to loose faith in the public educational system in this country. 

I would like to just raise the issue with you of violence. My sub- 
committee as part of this full committee, with the support of the 
chairman and others, has now held three hearings on youth vio- 
lence. There is a stunning increase in the incidence of violence. We 
have offered some legislative ideas, and I know that vou have tried 
to incorporate some of these ideas into this and other legislation 
that has been or will be introduced particularly the reauthorization 
of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, but I wonder if you 
might talk about this issue. 

We are setting standards here for achievement and content and 
a lot of other things, but it seems to me that the focus also should 
be on the goals which at the most basic level make it possible for 
kids to be able and willing to go to school every day. It is one thing 
to worry about whether they have learned anything when they 
come home it is another thing to wonder whether or not they'll 
come home, or if they will come home stabbed or shot. 

So I hope that when we are looking at this, we might raise those 
at issue, because frankly, violence is growing at a staggering rate, 
and it has got to be addressed, because it goes to the very heart 
of the question that the Senator from Indiana has raised, in my 
view, and that is people's lack of confidence in the system. 

Secretary RiLEY. Senator, I absolutely agree with you, and every 
time you hear those numbers, it really shocks all of us, especially 
those of us who are pondering about how to reach high standards. 
And to think that young children are really in fear of their lives, 
rimning into the schoolyard, and then to turn to those children and 
expect them to be thinking about working harder to reach high 
standards, it really is a question that makes you ponder in a seri- 
ous way. 

I would say that this whole measure leads to these goals, and 
Groal 6, safe, disciplined and drug-fi-ee schools — "By the year 2000, 
every school in America" — every school — "will be free of drugs and 


violence, and will offer a disciplined environment conducive to 

That is a goal that will be very, very hard to reach, but I will 
tell you that for every school where we don't reach it, we are not 
going to reach any of these other goals. And that is what we all 
need to center in on. 

We have recommended some $75 million in the 1994 budget, 
with all the targets and strains we have on it, to go to the safe 
schools effort. If this is passed as the policy of this country through 
this "Goals 2000" measure, that will be a goal in terms of education 
for this country, the very thing that you £ind the Senator are talk- 
ing about. 

Senator DoDD. As I understand it, there are six goals here, and 
ending violence is one of them. 

Secretary RiLEY. Yes, sir. 

Senator Dodd. It is listed as one of the six? 

Secretarv RiLEY. This is the goal itself: "By the year 2000, every 
school in America will be free of drugs and violence, and will offer 
a disciplined environment conducive to learning." 

Senator DoDD. Oh, I apologize. 

Secretary RiLEY. It is exactly in tune with the concern that you 

Senator Dodd. I am glad to hear you say it, and I would hope 
we could look at some ways in which to meaningfully try to reach 
those goals. One of the ideas — ^and I would encourage you to take 
a look at is a bill I introduced "Child and Family Services and Law 
Enforcement Partnership Act" — some of the titles of these bills get 
a little long — ^but it is based on a partnership that was developed 
between the Yale Child Study Center and the New Haven Police 
Department in Connecticut, llie Yale Child Study Center is a won- 
derful group of people, and we have done a lot of work with them. 
They have been very successful. This project is all part of this no- 
tion of the community policing concept, which has worked well with 
children especially when coupled with a prevention efforts and 
training in conflict resolution. 

So I would urge you to take a look at that legislation. We would 
be very interested in the administration's comments on it and ideas 
and suggestions, and possibly — and I haven't raised this with the 
chairman on my own, so I am a little hesitant — ^but the possibility 
of maybe incorporating this idea in future legislation as a way of 
setting up one example of what might be done to try to work to- 
ward mat stated goal of reducing drugs and violence in schools. 

Secretary Riley. We will certainly be back in touch with you 
about that. Senator. 

The Chairman. A lot has been done with the metal detectors, but 
one of the very interesting studies indicates that in schools which 
have comprehensive health services, there has been a very signifi- 
cant reduction in violence and guns. So we've got to be creative in 
terms of how we deal with a lot of these complex issues, and that 
is an interesting finding. 

Senator Jeffords. 

Senator Jeffords. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'll be brief 

I have had an opportunity to discuss at length with the Secretary 
most of the matters that I'm sure have been discussed here, and 


I am sorry for being absent during most of your testimony, but this 
is one of those times when I am ranking on two subcommittees, 
and they are both meeting at exactly the same time, the other one 
on Sudan, a very important problem in Africa. 

I would like to ask you, though, one question. I understand that 
you have a school-to-work initiative in the wings that is going to 
be coming in, I hope, sometime soon. But I note that there is no 
mention in the goals of a school-to-work goal in the sense of trying 
to solve some of the problems that we have in our schools now with 
young people not being ready for work, or sufficiently oriented to- 
ward the work force in their educational endeavors. 

Secretary RiLEY. Senator, Groal 5, which deals with adult literacy 
and lifelong learning, deals with competition in the global economy 
and citizenship and those kinds of things. The objective that is list- 
ed under that, which is part of this bill, does say that "every major 
American business will be involved in strengthening the connection 
between education and work." That is part of this, and then, "All 
workers will have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and 
skills," and so forth. 

So while the goal is not as clear as perhaps you and I might 
want to make it, really, the country is focusing in on that, and I 
am glad we have. The objective under that goal, of lifetime learning 
and adult literacy £ind so forth, is very clear on the points that you 

Senator Jeffords. Then you would have no objection to making 
it a little clearer as far as the linkage? 

Secretary RiLEY. Absolutely not, absolutely not. 

Senator Jeffords. All right. Thank you. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Senator Gregg. 

Senator Gregg. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Let me see if I understand this, because again, I haven't had a 
chance to look at it in-depth; I have just been perusing the bill 
here. But as I understand it, there is a goals board, and there is 
a goals criteria council, and the council develops the criteria and 
gives it to the goals board, and the goals board confirms it. And in 
order for the States to obtain the grants, they must basically have 
in place State implementation programs, or be proposing State im- 
plementation programs, that meet the criteria set out by the cri- 
teria council, which council's criteria has been confirmed by the 
goals board. Is that correct? 

Secretary RiLEY. No, sir, it is not. The requirement on the State 
to become involved in the partnership is that the State have its 
own plan. There is no connection — and that is why there is an 
awful lot of misunderstanding out there — there is no connection be- 
tween what is being done on the national level and what is done 
on the State level. As the national level is determining what world- 
class standards are and the various things they are charged to do 
on that council, and the panel, they are developing these kinds of 
standards, and the State's involvement with that is purely vol- 
untary — and of course, it wouldn't be immediate because we don't 
have the standards developed. That would be some time. So ail the 
State has to show is that it has as a State its own comprehensive 


plan to deal with content, assessment, opportunity-to-leam, which 
is teaching and learning. 

Senator Gregg. So those two aren't connected; they are discon- 
nected, those two? 

Secretary RiLEY. They are disconnected. And that has been de- 
bated, as you know, quite a bit back and forth. 

Senator Gregg. For the States to qualify, then, they have to 
meet the specifics of a State implementation program, the test of 
which is defined from approximately page 41 through page 54 of 
this bill, with each paragraph starting off with the statement, 
"Each State shall est^lish strategies for improving education," for 
example, or "Each State shall establish strategies for doing this 
and that," and so on — ^those are the specifics of what the State has 
to do in order to qualify for these funds? 

Secretary RiLEY. The list is suggestive. Each State plan shall 

Senator Gregg. Well, how can it be suggestive when it says 
"shall" — ^"each State plan shall describe strategies"; "each State 
plan shall describe strategies" — "shall" is not a suggestive word 
from the Federal Grovemment. You know that. Governor. 

Secretary Riley. And it has the language, "such as," and then it 
lists these things — are we reading from the same place? 

Senator Gregg. Yes. We can read that just about anywhere. 
"Shall" is not a suggestive word. 

Secretary RiLEY. But it says you "shall" do this, this, and this, 
"such as" this, this, and this. In other words, you define your own. 
This is an example, but it doesn't say exactly as this. You do your 
own plan, and it is "such as" this. That's what it is intended to say. 

Senator Gregg. Well, you would have no problem, then, with re- 
moving the word "shall" from all those phraseologies, and just say- 
ing "such as," instead of having the word "shall" in there — "the 
State's plan such as the following^'? 

Secretary Riley. Well, we certainly wouldn't mind looking at this 
language; however, you want to have the framework, you want to 
require them to deal with these issues. That is all 

Senator Gregg. Now, "require" and "shall" coming from the Fed- 
eral Grovernment mean you'd better do it or else you don't get the 
money. That's the point here. I mean, are you telling the States 
that they have got to comply with these approximately 12 pages of 
fairly definitive statements as to what education shall be in order 
for tnem to get these fimds, or aren't you? 

Secretary RiLEY. You are telling the States, Senator, that they 
must deal with each of these components, but now they do it is up 
to them; but you are saying that they shall address each of these 
components, but these examples are just such as these. And as I 
said, I wouldn't mind taking a further look at the language, but we 
do think that it is important to require the State to deal with these 
issues that constitute comprehensive reform. 

Senator Gregg. Well, kt's assume the State doesn't deal with 
these issues. Then these funds obviously are not available. What 
other funds do you anticipate the Department is going to put at 
risk if the State if the State does not deal with these issues? Do 
you have some plan in the future for 94-142 funds, for elementary 
and secondary funds beyond these, for Head Start funds, for any 
other funds to be put at risk on the basis of a State deciding that 


it would rather not take a chance on the "shall" language and just 
continuing to operate its educational system with a little bit of 
independence at the community level? 

Secretary RiLEY. No, sir, I don't think so. But as you would well 
imagine, of course, we would sit down with the State and work 
with them on their plans. The effort would be to involve all 50 
States with their own plans. It is a partnership, and we think there 
should be a partnership because we are talking about a national 
concern about education, and that is part of what this is. And it 
is difficult to deal with under our Federal structure — I would cer- 
tainly admit that to start with — and you have to be very careful 
with it. But we do think that it is a very legitimate part of the 
partnership to say that we feel the State efforts to deal with sys- 
temic reform is the way to go. 

Senator Gregg. So there are no other fiinds other than the $393 
million that you are going to put at risk, that come to the States, 
and that you are going to propose in the future comes to the States, 
or that presently come to the States, that are going to be subject 
this type of language restraint? 

Secretary RiLEY. It is my understanding this is totally separate 
from anything else^es. 

Senator Gregg. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Mr. Secretary, revenue-sharing is out these days, 
because the Federal Government just doesn't nave the dough. I 
don't know that we have to learn that lesson again. 

Senator Thurmond. 

Senator Thurmond. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Chairman, it's a pleasure to be here today to receive testi- 
mony on S. 846, the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act." 

I want to join my colleagues in welcoming our witnesses here 
today. I would especially like to extend a warm welcome to my good 
friend Secretary Riley. Secretary Riley, it is good to have you before 
us again today. 

Mr. Chairman, I believe the education we provide to our children 
and future generations of children is one of the most important 
gifts we can give them. This measure seeks to improve learning 
and teaching by providing a national framework for education re- 
form. I firmly agree with the objectives contained in this legislation 
which seek to increase parental and community involvement in our 

The "Groals 2000: Educate America Act" has many provisions that 
are similar to President Bush's "America 2000" proposal and the 
Senate version of S.2 from the 102nd Congress. I supported many 
of the provisions contained in those proposals. 

However, while we work on education reform legislation, we 
should try to keep the Federal regulatory requirements to a mini- 
mum. The Federal Grovernment should become a partner in State 
and local reform efforts, and not a barrier. Unfortunately, this leg- 
islation places too many barriers upon the States. 

For example, I strongly support the State block grant for sys- 
temic education improvement because of the support it proviaes 
each State to develop its own reform plan with its own priorities. 
However, the proposals contained in this legislation are so prescrip- 
tive that it virtually writes the plans for the States. 


Mr. Chairman, I support the National Education Goals and the 
work of the National Education Goals Panel. However, I am con- 
cerned that this legislation supports the development of a national 
curriculum. I believe States should voluntarily develop their own 
standards and assessments to measure student attainment of those 

I also believe that delivery of opportunity-to-leam standards 
should be left to the local communities. I am concerned that this 
legislation would lead to Federal regulations as to how instruction 
should he delivered and how local schools should be organized. 

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I believe that more of the funding should 
be given to the local level and less to bureaucracy. I am concerned 
that the money provided by this legislation does not flow in the 
most efficient way to the local levels. 

In closing, Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to be here, and I wish 
to join you and the other members of the committee in welcoming 
our witnesses. I have enjoyed being here on this occasion. 

Now, Mr. Secretary, I have three questions. Secretary Riley, part 
of the duties of the National Education Standards and Improve- 
ments Council will be to certify opportunity-to-leam standards and 
systems of assessment submitted by the States. The question is 
will the council only certify these plans if they are consistent with 
the national standards? 

Secretary RiLEY. The test. Senator, I am told, is consistent with 
those as challenging as the national standards. In other words, you 
would have to be certifying to something, and you have to say that 
these standards dealing with teaching and learning are as chal- 
lenging as the national standards; they don't have to be the same, 
but you are certifying that they are as challenging. 

And Senator, you understand that any connection with the Fed- 
eral standards certification is purely voluntary. 

Senator Thurmond. Secretary Riley, under the bill, the National 
Education Standards and Improvements Council would certify sys- 
tems of assessment for the purpose of measuring and motivating 
individual students, schools, districts. States, and the Nation to im- 
prove educational performance. Could you explain what criteria the 
council may be using to measure educational performance? 

Secretary Riley. The assessment certification — which again is 
voluntary; a State would voluntarily come to the council and ask 
that their assessment measures be certified — the Act specifies what 
these assessments could deal with, aligned with State content 
standards certified by the council — in other words, if they are 
aligned with the State content standards— used for a purpose for 
which it is vahd, reliable, fair and free of discrimination; includes 
all students, especially students with disabilities or with limited 
English proficiency, determining appropriate certification criteria. 
Those three things are it. Primarily, the general content is that it 
is aligned with State content standards. That would be the real 


But again. Senator, I would point out that's the State content 
standards. In other words, the State assessment would have to be 
aligned with the State content standards. 

I think many of the concerns that vou have, we have been work- 
ing with over the last couple of weeks, and I think some of them 


have been addressed, and I would sure welcome the chance to have 
my staff continue to work with your staff on these issues. 

Senator Thurmond. Thank you. 

Secretary Riley, as you know, I am concerned that the funds ap- 
propriate under the bill reach the local schools, the local level. If 
you send 85 percent of these funds to the State, and 85 percent of 
the State money to the schools, aren't you taking nearly 28 percent 
out for administrative purposes? Is there a better way to lessen the 
administrative burden? 

Secretary RiLEY. Senator, again, I would be happy to talk further 
about that. We felt that the 85 percent requirement of all funds 
going into the State going down to the school districts, and then 
85 percent of those funds going to the specific schools, was a very 
bold measure to push the mnds down to see that they do reach the 
actual school site. Again, we'd be happy to look at those further, 
but we feel like that is really a very, very large proportion of the 
dollars that are required to end up at the school site. 

Senator Thurmond. Thank you, Governor. I am glad to have you 
with us. 

Secretary Riley. Thank you. Senator. 

The Chairman. Senator Durenberger. 

Senator Durenberger. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I have an 
opening statement I'd like to have included in the record and about 
three or four questions I'd like to address to the Secretary. 

The Chairman. It will be so included. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Durenberger follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Durenberger 

Mr. Chairman, I have a few comments and then several ques- 
tions I'd like to ask Secretary Riley regarding the administration's 
"Goals 2000" proposal. 

But, first, I want to thank the Secretary for his willingness to 
consult with all of us on this and other initiatives originating in his 
Department. I think he knows there are differences of opinion on 
some parts of this bill— on both sides of the aisle. But, there is also 
a strong commitment to improving education that I know can 
translate into positive change. 

I also want to thank Secretary Riley for his insistence on keeping 
public school choice and charter schools as allowable uses of the 
education improvement funds authorized by this bill. 

As we move toward mark-up, Mr. Chairman, I will have some 
language changes, changes to offer that reflect the understandings 
you and I reached last year on these two issues during the Senate 
debate over S. 2. 

One of those changes — ^lifted right out of the Senate's version of 
S. 2 — would explicitly allow States to use these funds for informa- 
tion and referral programs that help parents make informed school 
choices. I have a letter to the Secretary on this issue from Min- 
nesota's Education Commissioner that I'd like to have made a part 
of the record of this hearing. 

Mr. Chairman, I don't think there's anyone in this room who 
isn't in favor of State and local initiatives to change and improve 
our schools. 


The much harder question is what the Federal Grovemment 
should be doing to support the reform initiatives that are already 
underway and to encourage more reform initiatives to get started. 

I ask that question all the time — of teachers and students, prin- 
cipals and school board members — as they come to Washington and 
as I see them around my State. 

The answer I hear all the time is "get out of the way." 

That's what the waiver portions of this bill allow us to do. I be- 
lieve those provisions could be strengthened to provide an alter- 
native accountability mechanism that will focus more on outcomes 
and less on rigid and inflexible rules and regulations. 

So improving the waivers section is another issue I want to work 
on — ^with the Chairman and others on the committee — ^as we bring 
this bill to the floor. 

Finally, I want to listen closely during this debate to the Gov- 
ernors and to education commissioners, teachers and others about 
how this bill either helps or hurts ongoing State and local school 
reform initiatives. 

With that in mind, Mr. Chairman, I'd like to ask the Secretary 
a couple of questions. 

[The letter referred to is retained in the files of the committee.} 

Senator Durenberger. May I begin with a compliment to the 
Secretary for the ways in which some of the issues that I care deep- 
ly about in terms of choice and outcome-based education and so 
forth have been considered. While the Secretary hasn't pleased ev- 
erybody by defining choice within the public sector and not includ- 
ing the private, he certainly has pleased those of us who believe 
that unless we can get choice in the public sector, well never really 
have an improvement in quality and outcomes in public education 
in this coimtry. 

I have a general question to ask you both as the Secretary and 
a member of the President's Cabinet. In your testimony here pre- 
viously, you have talked about system reform. There are two major 
areas of system reform going on right now in this country; one is 
health reform, and the other is education reform. The systems are 
not all that different. They both operate at the local level; there are 
different amounts or percentages of the dollars coming from them, 
but basically, there is a local market for education and there is a 
local market for health and medical services in this country. One 
of them is predominantly private, the other is predominantly pub- 
lic. But it seems like the solutions to the problems of both are the 
same. We need to know something about what is going on in those 
schools and in those doctors' ofiices and those hospitals and so 
forth. We don't have the kind of information we need to judge the 
outcomes or the results of the process which, in both education find 
in health, has become so expensive that we don't seem to be able 
to afford more or better. So, we have this struggle about reform. 

If in fact that is true, that we need to be able to measure results 
and outcomes and so forth, we also need more information from the 
system in order to do that, and we need that information not just 
at the government level, but we need it at the consumer level. 
Those of us who are the consumers of education and health care 
need a lot more information about what education is eind what ex- 


pectations we ought to have for the system that is providing serv- 
ices to these kids from 5 to whatever a|^e it is. 

In the health care area, this administration seems to be rel- 
atively bold. It has recognized the fact that, one at a time, we can- 
not change the way health care is delivered. And I think that's true 
in education as well — one at a time, whether you are a parent or 
a brother or a sister or whatever, you aren't going to change this 
education system. So what thev have done in health care is aggre- 
gate all the consumers of health care in big things they call "health 
alliances" — maybe a million people buying and judging the services, 
with the power that a million people have rather than one person. 

Then, tney have a mechanism called "accountable health plans." 
These accountable health plans are designed to leverage change in 
the behavior of doctors and hospitals so that they will improve the 
quality of their services and reauce the costs, and do it as soon as 
possible to meet the satisfaction demand of these large groups of 

Basically, all we ask of the Federal Grovemment is for a set of 
rules for this locally-based change in the system. We ask in the 
health care area that the Federal Government prescribe a basic 
benefit, a basic set of services to which Americans should be enti- 
tled from the doctors and the hospitals and so forth. 

The obvious question I have of vou is other than the nature of 
the producers of education versus tne producers of medical services, 
predominantly public/government versus private, why don't we ag- 
gregate the buying power, the purchasing power of all Americans 
in education in order to cnange that system? Why don't we find a 
way to reward the best educators in our country as quickly as pos- 
sible so that they might be an example to all other educators as 
to how best to do this? 

Why do we bog ourselves down in all of these rules and regula- 
tions and standards and testing? Why don't we do the same thing 
in education system reform that we are doing in health system re- 

Secretary Riley. Senator, you said your question was obvious, 
and it was not. However, your observation is very intriguing, ana 
I think there are many differences, and there are many similarities 
with education and health. The fact is they are related in many 
ways, as you and I know and have talked about. And without get- 
ting off into how they are going to deal, or how all of us will deal 
with the health issue, of course, health is something that involves 
each person personally. Education is different in that it does have 
certain attributes that would make it deal with certain people more 
than others quite clearly. 

I think the system that we propose is to turn the system loose. 
It really is to use the Federal partnership and some seed money 
to free people up really on the local and State levels to do their 
thing, to have high expectations of all children, to creatively de- 
velop a system of their own standards, their own assessments, 
their own teaching and learning qualities, and be^n to stir that up 
in every, single school in the country — every, single school — and 
every classroom. 

The Federal side of it, then, is developing information in terms 
of content and performance and opportunities to learn, teaching 


and learning standards, which is something that the local school 
district cannot do. They cannot do that. That is a massive job, for 
math, involving thousands and thousands of math teachers, to ar- 
rive at a consensus. And I think it makes very good sense, and 
even as you define the health care system and some attributes of 
that that you are intrigued by, I would submit to you that in terms 
of where we are in education, the best thinkers out there say that 
development of a system which is cohesive, which fits like a puzzle, 
in which the curriculum is designed to fit with the teacher training 
and education, with teacher development, with textbooks, with par- 
ents, with community involved, business, labor, whatever — that all 
of that works, and it works best, but it has to be driven by high 
standards. And that is what this design attempts to do, and we 
have had a lot of work done in the past, and lots of people have 
done lots of things, and nobody is saying that there is anything 
magic here. We have really pulled everything together and tried to 
say where to go fi-om here. 

1 don't think you can have a full private system of a universal 
requirement for education by the States, and I don't think anybody 
anticipates that. There are very clear differences, and there are 
very clear similarities. 

Senator Durenberger. I'd like to repeat the question at another 
time when you are prepared to answer it, because I got a descrip- 
tion of the Canadian approach to health care, and this administra- 
tion has appropriately rejected that and decided to do it differently 
because we don't have time to wait; so it's just an issue I would 
raise, and I hope we can discuss it more in the future. 

Secretary RiLEY. Well, it is an interesting issue, and I'd be happy 
to discuss it with you. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. 

Senator Hatch. 

Senator Hatch. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I welcome you, Mr. Secretary, and appreciate the efforts that you 
are making, and if I could, I'd just like to make a few remarks 
rather than ask any questions. Because of the multiplicity of hear- 
ings I have had to go to already I missed your opening presen- 

I do want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for scheduling this hear- 
ing on the President's "Goals 2000" proposal, and I want to thank 
Secretary Riley for being here this morning. 

I feel very safe in saying that no Senator, Republican or Demo- 
crat, western State or eastern State, senior or freshman, is imcon- 
cemed about the state of our education system today. We are all 
concerned. We have all read the studies comparing the achieve- 
ments of American children with children from Japan and Euro- 
pean nations, and we agree that we Americans need to do much 
better. We know that the future of our country is in the hands of 
these future generations. We know that their ability to be success- 
ful in science, business, the arts, skilled trades, and other areas af- 
fects each and every one of us. 

But I also believe we have to acknowledge that America's schools 
are not all bad. There are some very good things going on in our 
Nation's schools today. For example, in Utah, 90 percent of the stu- 
dents at Granite School Districts Skyline High School are taking 


math. This surge in the math program is attributed to some in- 
spired efforts by teachers, parents, local businesses and school ad- 
ministrators to integrate computers into the classroom. Teachers 
have also been benefiting from Math Camp, a 2-week residential 
summer workshop for elementary and secondary schoolteachers 
sponsored by the Utah State office of education. I think those are 
steps in the right direction. 

Utah can boast a unique enrichment program for Utah schools 
that involves four outstanding Utah organizations — the Utah Sym- 
phony, Ballet West, the Ut£ui Opera Company, and the Hanson 
Planetarium. These four institutions provide a combined total of 
more than 1,700 events annually, reaching over 300,000 students 
and children in every comer of our State. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, it may be of particular intevest to the com- 
mittee that Utah has formed a nine-district consortium to promote 
opportunities for students who plan to enter the work force directly 
after high school. 

I can name many more examples of innovative, progressive edu- 
cational programming in our Utah schools, and I am sure our col- 
leagues on this committee, I am sure, could do the same. My point, 
Mr. Chairman, is that Utah, like other States, is already well 
aware of its educational strengths and weaknesses. Utah, like 
other States, has already developed a strategic plan to address 
these important needs. 

Mr. Chairman, the claim is made that the content and delivery 
standards called for in this bill are voluntary, but the plain fact is 
that "Goals 2000" is a standards-driven approach, and this ap- 
proach, at least in my opinion, will not help my home State of 
Utadi; in fact, it could conceivably hurt our efforts at improving 
education in our State by forcing the State to adopt Federal prior- 
ities and to redirect resources away from ongoing State efforts in 
order to meet national content and delivery standards. 

There are alternative approaches to school reform that would 
better facilitate the 50 States' progress toward implementing their 
own reform ideas. Top on this list would be a systematic program 
by the Clinton administration to promote State and local flexibility. 
The mandates attached to existing Federal programs gobble up 
money like Pac-man, and even then, these programs may not truly 
address the needs of individual States or scnool districts. We ought 
to be enlarging States' ability to design and implement school im- 
provement programs — not second-guessing them — with standards 
that are certified by a national commission. 

Isn't it time, Mr. Chairman, that the Federal Grovemment stop 
trying to be the Pied Piper of school reform and instead get behind 
our State and local school boards? 

But if the Federal Government insists on being in the front of 
the parade, it should be for the purpose of clearing away the road- 
blocks, not adding additional obstacles. 

Mr. Chairman, I want to personally say that I believe Secretary 
Riley has the capacity, the ability, the knowledge and the genius 
to be able to help our States to do an even better job in education. 
I am going to help you, Mr. Secretary, every step of the way if I 
can, and I am going to do everything I can to cooperate with you, 
but I am really concerned about some of these delivery standards 


and these standards that are top-down driven bv the Federal Gov- 
ernment, perhaps without taking into consideration what the 
States need and what they really ought to do. But I know that you 
are concerned about it, too, and I want to work with you, so we'll 
just keep an open mind and do the best we can to help. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Secretary Riley. Senator, thank you very much, and if I could, 
I would like to have some time witn you so that we might discuss 

Senator Hatch. I'd be glad to do that. 

Secretary Riley. I think a number of concerns you raise — and I 
have mentioned it to other Senators here this morning— have been 
dealt with in a way that you would be very pleased with— maybe 
not satisfied, but certainly pleased. 

I do not think that we force adoption of any Federal priorities at 
all. We are dealing with State standards. State assessment, and 
the Federal part is over here for the States to voluntarily try to be 
certified and reach if they want to for any particular reason. 

And you are right — tnere are many actions going on in many 
States, and most of the good actions, certainly the successful ones, 
would be very consistent with the very thing we are talking about 
here, and that is what is happening in your State as you describe 
it — comprehensive education reform. And that's what we want to 
see going on everywhere. 

Senator Hatch. Well, I really appreciate that. In our State, as 
you know, we have tremendous problems because we have more 
children per teacher than any other State in the Union, and we 
spend more overall as a percentage of budget than anv other State 
in the Union; and yet per pupil, we don't rank very high because 
we have so many children. 

So we have some particular problems. And if the Federal Govern- 
ment starts mandating delivery standards and other types of 
standards that we just cannot meet, then you can see the problems 
and burdens it would bring to Utah, even though Utah is doing a 
relatively good job from an educational standpoint. 

Secretary Riley. Senator, there is no mandate in here of putting 
Federal opportunity-to-learn standards on your State. There is no 

mandate in here like that. ,,,.,. . . i 

Senator Hatch. I am glad to hear that, and I didnt thmk you 
would put that in there, having watched you as a Governor and 
also having watched you in your tenure since you have been here. 
But I am just making as sure as I can that that won't be the end 

result here. 

Thank you, Mr. Secretary. 

Secretary Riley. Thank you. Senator. 

Senator Dodd. Mr. Chairman, could I raise just one quick Ques- 
tion? South Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut and others have 
adopted educational improvement plans. The question we get from 
our State is whether or not they will have to go back and reexam- 
ine those plans, or will those States with plans— your State being 
one of them— fit into these models pretty much? 

Secretary RiLEY. The system, Senator, picks up a State exactly 
where it is, and you have some real interesting things happening 
out there. When you look at various areas, Kentucky might be 


dealing in a very important way with certain things, Vermont an- 
other, South Carolina and Connecticut another. The Kentucky sys- 
tem, though, is different, say, from a Vermont, but both of them 
are dealing with this subject and in their own way. Kentucky is 
kind of a top-down system that was developed through a court 
case. Vermont is more of a bottom-up kind of system. But that's not 
to say that both of them, if they are dealing with comprehensive 
reform in their own States' way, would be perfectly in line with us 
helping support them continue to do that. 

So it does call for picking a State up exactly where they are, 
working with a system, so long as they can show it is comprehen- 
sive, it deals with standards, assessment, teaching Eind learning; 
that is the only requirement. 

Senator Dodd. Tnank you very much, Mr. Secretary. 

The Chairman. I would just say finally, Mr. Secretary, that I 
think that is the heart of this approach, this flexibility, which is 
enormously constructive and positive. 

We have a handful of programs at the federal level to help chil- 
dren; you are all familiar with the $6.5 billion for Chapter 1 which 
is on a formula basis, because the country reco^izes that we have 
economically disadvantaged children, and their needs are some- 
thing we ought to try to provide for. We have very limited money 
for special needs students, but because we think that their needs 
are sufficiently important, we ought to provide some help and as- 
sistance there. We have some vocational money, only about $1 bil- 
lion — it's a lot of money, but when you are talking about $1.5 tril- 
lion it doesn't seem like very much — to try to provide help and as- 
sistance for those children who aren't going on to hijp^her education. 

These are some of the programs, and tney are formula driven. 
What you have done here is recognize that there are limited re- 
sources at the federal level and you want to leverage those re- 
sources. I must say that within Chapter 1 we will try to find ways 
to reduce some of the rules and regulations even though we have 
seen that sometimes, when we didn't have rules and regulations, 
money that was supposed to go to economically disadvantaged chil- 
dren was used to build swimming pools or buy shoulder pads for 
the football team. 

So we want to try to lessen the burden in terms of the rules and 
regulations, but yet we want the resources, the scarce resources 
that we have at tne national level, to go in the direction where we 
find urgent need. That is what I think is so creative about your 
program. The taxpayers' money is not going to be expended unless 
there is performeince, what you are saying is that to get the money, 
there is going to have to oe performance. I think most taxpayers 
in this country like that kind of discipline, and it is a creative as- 
pect. It is certainly a different kind of an approach, but I think it 
is one for which there will be broad support, hopefully. 

I want to thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. I think you have 
a lot of interest by all members. Hopefully, we can find some com- 
mon ground. We are all interested in doing that, and I think, as 
has been mentioned many times, as someone who has provided the 
leadership in your own State, you speak to these matters with 
great authority and credibility. So we are very, very grateful for 
your presence. 


Secretary Riley. Thank you, Senator. 

The Chairman. I will call on Senator Jeffords to introduce Dr. 
Mills on our second panel, and then well ask the four other wit- 
nesses to join Dr. Mills at the witness table, Eind I will introduce 

Senator Jeffords. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I am extremely pleased that our commissioner of education from 
the State of Vermont is here with us today. I have worked with 
Commissioner Mills and am deeply impressed with what he is 
doing. You have already heard the Secretary speak of the Vermont 
plan as being one which I have a lot of faith in and as having been 
built from the bottom up, so to speak. 

Commissioner Mills has worked continuously on expanding the 
partnership to create and carry out a plan for school reform that 
indicates education goals, a common core of learning, an assess- 
ment of student performance based on portfolios, a series of chal- 
lenge grants to support local innovation, a teacher majority profes- 
sional standards board, and sweeping changes in special education 
funding and programs. 

Most recently, he has been instrumental in procuring a $10 mil- 
lion grant from the National Science Foundation to promote sys- 
temic reform in math and science education. He serves on several 
boards, including the National Center of Education and the Econ- 
omy, the New Standards Project, and the National Assessment 
Governing Board. 

Mr. Chairman, I am deeply appreciative for Commissioner Mills 
being here today, and I know he has some very excellent testimony 
to give us and can assist us in passing a bill which I know we will 
all oe proud of. 

The Chairman. Well, we are looking forward to hearing from 
you. Dr. Mills. 

I am going to ask our other four witnesses to come forward as 
well. They are people on whom we depend to implement Federal 
policies, and we appreciate their views. Today is National Teachers 
Day, so we thought it would be particularly appropriate that we in- 
vite two outstanding teachers to testify. Teachers must be at the 
center of the reform, and unless we encourage and support them, 
very little will change in the classroom. 

Mr. Tracey Bailey is a math and science teacher from Melbourne, 
FL who was recently named National Teacher of the Year. He has 
actually worked with math standards. 

We also welcome Mr. Norman Conard, from Uniontown, KS. Mr. 
Conard is a history teacher who was the 1992 Kansas Teacher of 
the Year, and Senator Kassebaum is going to formally welcome Mr. 

Besides the teachers, we need principals and administrators to 
lead schools. Ms. Linda Davis is the deputy superintendent of the 
San Francisco Unified School District, and she has been charged 
with the systemic reform efforts in a large urban area and has 
very, very interesting testimony. 

Mr. Gfeorge Kaye is vice president of human resources at 
Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and knows first-hand the 
needs of employers, a very interesting story. 


Well start off with Dr. Mills, if we could, but first, I will say that 
I dislike some things in the U.S. Senate, but the one I dislike this 
most is this machine. I am enormously reluctant, and I think my 
colleagues all know how reluctant I am to use this, because people 
do well in terms of following the time. But well try and keep to 
five-minute presentations in order to come back for questions. Well 
ask our superior staff to keep track of the time, and we won't have 
any bells, but just the green, yellow, and red lights, and if you 
could do your best, we'd appreciate it. 

Dr. Mills, please. 


Mr. Mills. I'd like to thank the chair, and I'd like to thank Sen- 
ator Jeffords for that very warm welcome. I am very proud to be 
here, and to say that it's a privilege really doesn't tell the half of 

I would like to make three basic points. I think we really need 
this bill. We reallv need "Goals 2000." 

I would also like to make a second point, and I will get into it 
in some detail, that I think we need some changes to fully seize the 
opportunity that it presents. And I want to conclude with the 
thought that so many people will suggest alternatives and changes; 
I hope that those lists of^ changes don't add up to the sense that 
we ought to do nothing. And I include my list of changes in that. 
I think the Nation really needs this bill. 

I look at this from the perspective if a State that has been very 
deep in systemic change for a long time. We have followed an inclu- 
sive process. We have drawn the circle larger and larger. We call 
our plan the "Green Mountain Challenge," and I think the subtitle 
tells the whole story. It is very high skills for every student — ^no 
exceptions, no excuses — and we really mean it. 

I see the need for this bill wherever I visit — when I visit schools, 
when I look around the State, including my own, and when I look 
around the country as a whole. I try to spend as much time as I 
possibly can in schools, asking students and looking at their work. 
And I find many students who are challenged, but I still too often 
get this Einswer to this question. The question is, "Are you chal- 
lenged? Is the work that you do stretching you?" Too often, I run 
into youngsters who say, "No, it is not." 

I tnink what we have to do is make the expectations abundantly 
clear. It is important for a State board to do that, for a Grovemor 
to do that, and it is important for the Nation as a whole — and you 
speak for the Nation. 

I see the need for this bill when I look around the States. The 
most common question that I get when I am talking with my col- 
leagues is: How do all these pieces fit together? I hear it in may 
different States. As I said in my prepared statement, I think I 


know how they fit together, but until everybody knows how they 
fit togeUier, we don't have the energy in this great Nation to move 

Finally, when I look at the national level, I see so many pieces 
of systemic change put together, so many institutional changes in- 
volving standards for teachers, emerging national standards in cur- 
ricula, but they are not liked; it is not yet a strategy for change. 

"Goals 2000 cannot be presented as the solution for all these 
problems, but it would make a very big difference. Among the 
changes that I would suggest that would make this bill stronger 
would be to make sure that the Federal Government appHes a light 
touch to State planning. This really does create a radically dif- 
ferent Federal role. We all know that there are Federal plans for 
education. The difference is that now they deal with a part of the 
educational program, not the whole thing. This bill, even though it 
is on the States to develop the plan, would have a Federal over- 
sight role over State planning, and it would draw that over the en- 
tire enterprise. In my State, it would be over the whole $700 mil- 
lion State, local. Federal money. That's a big change. It might 
work, but we need to be careful about what we are doing here. 

I think there ought to be some presumptions about the State 
planning effort. There ought to be a presumption that the plan that 
the State puts together makes sense. We ought to be very careful 
in the bill that there not be regulations to follow that make things 
that are "for instances" into absolute requirements. 

In fact, I would suggest that it might be very helpful to see 
matching Federal plan. I am commissioner in a State with a very 
small department of education; I am very proud of those people. We 
have tried to transform our organization to support schools and 
teachers and students as they go through change. It is a very, very 
tough thing to change an organization, no matter what the size. 
There are 5,000 people in the Federal Department of Education; I'd 
like to know how they are going to transform for high performance. 

Finally, I can't help but draw attention to the list of items that 
are cited as possibilities for deregulation. There is one bit oppor- 
tunity missing, and it has to do with special education. Vermont 
has tried very, very hard in partnership with parents and students 
and teachers to stop the continual increase in enrollment in special 
education, because in many cases, it involves moving children down 
the hall — moving children who ought to be educated in the regular 
program into another program simply because there is no other 
way to give them the services that they need. 

I think it would help us a lot if Vermont had an opportunity to 
State its case. We have been able to reduce enrollments in special 
education by 6 percent a year for 2 years in a row, and we are 
about to get another 3-1/2 to 4 percent this year. We are going to 
need some Federal help to continue that level of achievement. 

The final point: We need this bill. 

The Chairman. Thank you. The issue of special needs has been 
raised, and we will have a hearing on it when we consider the 
Chapter 1 program. I think it is enormously important, and I am 
glad you referenced it. 

Mr. Mills. Thank you, Senator. 


The Chairman. And we'll be in touch with you to get some of 
our suggestions on it as well, plus anybodv else. 
[The prepared statement of Mr. Mills follows:] 

PRBPARBD Statement op Richard P. Mills 
Wd f gnd On"'* MOO - »<tf » «""» «*•»?« 

We need the Ootli 2000 leftfititlon. Tfae reaseni tn ■piwint ■! »v«ry lovel of th* 
educallonal nterprlM. We tin nnd soma ehanf ea la the Wit le eaiura Ua W Dc a w . 


Wlien I Tlilt ichooli, ! Am fooV at the wpA Hat ftijdeftta do. In Vermoot, thai meana I aak 
for the ttodeTTl portfolloa - ■») then t t«k tfodeats ihU qu«tdn: U Iha work thM rod 4o 
chMleti^f^ Too often, the aniwcr b flin 'no.* We are Hill not maUnf cxpocttAooM dear. 
OoRll 2000 alone in?n't rive thai bot It will belp by IntrpAidpt «« «« wortd-dan ilandardi. 
We need to llop axillt (<»* we waai world data itandarda and atart dtalfidnf oat aeboob to ■ 
fneet theni. 

When I obierv^ l»niB efTbns. even In my invn ittlo, I aeo ao much action and commitment to 
lyflemic chingt. And yci the most common queatterj li, 'How do all thcae pfeoea fit 
toielherl* I think 1 know how they fit, and » do a {real many. But everyone hu to know 
If we are Id Mnk vldon to action and acdon to aecompltitmicnL The piibHe contumea and 
rtpeiU nep^lire ttitltUca about performance, b« wllhboldi perrdnlor ftac ndlcal chanje ta 
the ichool down the ltre«. When •omeooe uted how raoch of our budfet ihouW fo to 
reform, I »t<d all of !t. We simply cannot ifTord to Invest In the mnii quo. But d:e 
prea»or« to do Jmt thut are enormout. Oo«li 2000 by Itself wnn't lolvo that, but U will 
create a f^amevMnk to enlljt many more lupportera In the work ai hand. 

When 1 look at the nutlonal level, ! r« many Inrttutlonal change* - emwiln| curtlcuhjm 
jtandifdi, a NaMooa! Floard for TcacWng Slandardj, the National Ooali. the New Standardi 
Project, and the lyrtcrrilc effyrt to traniform mtlhematlci and adeiv:e led by the Nadonal 
Sdcnoe roundKtlm. But they are not wdl -connected. Our education lyitein li like a ah- 
eylhde* eng'ne firing on four. For enample, at the ome iJme that many of bI have tried to 
Invent bctler ajjetsmcnls, Chapter I rtll 6ei UJ to multiple chdoe tu». While many of ni 
purjoe systemic change «rate«lcs to benefit all itudonta, the federal partner focTiaei on parta 
of the progrtm for only some of the itudcaU. When the timea require tnnovarioB yd Wgh 
pafortnance, the federal paitner values oorapllance and docrnnentukm. OoelJ 2000 woo'l 
enllrdy rwolve that either , but It rcwrllea the rulea for everyone. The new paat b 

.^tifteatlnni to Imptnve the hill 

In the erwteatt of my overall support, I don't like i few eJcmcnta of the WH, and I have lome . 

Lighter f^m) toudhi The bUI deflfKi a radkalty different federal irjle la edocatfon: The 

Ooels rand will let the goals, the Standards and Improvement Coundl will certify the 

standards to measure progreu toward the goJs, and the Secretary will overaee a state aod 

local planning prooem to resch the goali, WhUe the fsderal government rvqubea pkaa now, 

they govern only a part of education - Chapter I or special education, for otample, Thll 

bill will BMcrt federal ovcrrig hi met the whole eduaitinna] profrara In a state or eonununlty. . n,.^^ 

That goes too flu. I roggwt a very light touch on state and local plarnilnf. It It . r^vn' ^^^^ 

overreaching to try to control the whole gana with only a 6 peroeal stake. y'^IC^ 

Aeecpt irorlditg local goreniaaec! The bin reqalres a state paad with partlctilar 
monbcnrMp tn write the »t)eo pitn, unA glvei that pnnd mofrftoring reapoDiihUlty tMce It haa 
completed the plan. This inirades on esti«blbhe<) goremance in aotne statea. A betior way 
would be for the bill to accept the govemanee arrangefnent that works In e»di Mate ibr the 
drafting and roonllDring of the plan, pnMded thai the proceaa they use Includea the froapa 
named In the Mil. 


PretumiTtlon of i««1e ptao ■rcrptahllHrt The bill ibould 0(pre»i ■ prewmpdoo tl»t I Ittle 
p|gn is iccqyjible providod th»l It rcftecti broad Involvement and apprtui Dkdy to help nil 
children. The lemptallon to go beyond that will be hard to mist, but many of id at (he state 
level will rrsirt. IT* bill «hoold «ay that the Dqmtment of Education will not toll italea the 
dcfmlli to Include In tfidr plani. I njg|e»t that the le^itliflon ipcdflcally itate that the 
Implemcntlnf rMjolaflonj written by the Depariincnt can not ftdd requlfetnentj beytjnd (how 
spedflcally Kaled Jn the Jcflilatlon Itself, nor make those thai are In tlie lefMatloQ more 
dctnllod than the ftntemcnts niAde In the act Lei the Secretary accept rather Ihan approve 
State plani. Let tho»e plant be the basli for a Joint ventura provided that they comnolt (o 
high, verifiable nJults. 

FTcxIbfe elianf B proTbloti! There ought to be no fcsdcml approvaJ required In the bill far 
changei In Mate plan*, beyond the need of partnera to Infortn one another. All plana 
change -- If they ai« real. Slates ghould be permitted to dryarl from the ipedfica of the 
plant provided that they are faithful to their fundamental ipirlt - If (latei depuX bom that, 
they ibould loie the money. 

Mntchhig federal plan; How docj the U.S. Department of Bducntlon plim to buUd Ita own 
capacity as the jtnlcs and communldes are doing? It would be a good Idea for the Congress 
to request a federal agency plan lo match the itale and local plant. The U.S. Department of 
Education will have to change In culture and form In order to carry out tWa bW. The old 
compliance monitoring tppnnch won't tupport sytleralc change. Overy partner AooM 
Share In the risk and exchange commltmeflU. 

There art tcveial reasons for limiting federal Involvement in the details and method of Itata 
and local lyilerrtio planning. With the exception of a few at the top of (he U.S. Dqa utn ia it 
of Education, no( many federal Icvd partnen understand Systemic change. But many In 

states and communlllca do. We ihould not compd one anodier In the aret of lyttomle 
change when the eapcrlooce on both aide* it ao modeiL 

The current relationship between itatet, federal government and local tchooli rests on plant 
full of boiler plate assunmces, dcnianda for compliance with form rather than nibttanoe, and 
commcndatiant diat fool no one. We miut build a new reiallanAlp on Iniit, and that wUl 
happen only If all the partners make commltraenta and deliver. 

Keep variatloa allTei It is very important to have Keotncky on a aomewhat different path 
than Vermont Every time I meet colleagues fhyn other states, I learn aonictfrfnf . Let't keep 
variation alive. Don't let federal adoption of the lyitemic changB ^>proadi bring ifcll 
Innovation to a halt. The way to acoorapllth that It by removing tome of the dc^aila in Ifae 
plan. There are more than nine pages on what goea bto the plan. The federal goveramant 
should impoie no orthodoxy in educatiod refbrm. 

Involve tfie pnblk: The Congress should teqnire thcae national IcvtJ panels and councils to 
talk with and Hstea to flir more people than ever before. For example, there were f\mds 
available for only 27,000 copies of the firat National Goals Report The message abort the 
National Goals hu not penetrated. In contrast, Florida put out half a mlltkm copies of iu 
reform plan- 
There it welcome language in the bill aDout widespread public Involvement and bcttom-up as 
well as top-down reform - this has been a crucial feaMre of Vcrmout's cxperieace - but a 
hard look al the apparatus the bill creates suggests (hat the important dodiiont will be the 
work of a few. The real power of this inltialivc will be our ability to win the conutritmeat 
and paMlofl of millions who don't sit on these panels or councils. 

Fnchide special educrtiom The bill will enable the Secretary to deregulate for pcrfofmanoe. 
This is a very powerful incentive, because It requires good rcsulU far children, not 
ullsfactlon with having completed the required process. But tht« is one m^lor opportunity 
missing from the list: special education. After years of condnoous incraucs to ^jedal 
education cnroUmenU, Vermont has, through changes In professional development, incentive 
fundmg, and a careful building of trust, been able to reduce special education enrollments by 
6 pcrwfflt for tv«> years hi a row. We are going to need regulatory relief at the federal level 
to conllnoo this echicvcraait. Please add language to the biU to allow Vermont to make ita 
case to deregulate in spedal education. 


We want to puuantce • free appropriate public edooirion for our childivn. But we w«nt to 
look II rcnlU. In ipedtl education, the federal ptrtner would Kill fbroe compliance with a 
fmetu tart h«i no! domonilrated effective retulti. If we nc wiliing to work with parent! 
and educator! to bdld a better education for theie molt fhtfile of our childiea, Oitr fbdenJ 
partner ihpuld not fear to Mind with ua. 

Strmit faturg of OmIi 2000 

There la a freal deal about Ihll Un thai I like very mueh; 

The most Importvit thing the biU doei if ettabllrfi lyty to *>bM CrwgWI 'v dumte and 
high skill!, it li a italcment of niticinal resolve to do better by our ddldrea. 

The bill opnnert! pT<t|q«| jjetnent! pf the fBitlpff-wMe_e<>?c<tf< a Igfcnn .aflt>ftl of reoeot 
yean. The Secretary'* team haj aoif hi to eotnblne the best of recent esiperieoee fhmi 
icveral lourcei - itaie arvl local efTorti, the work of the Ooremora, the roajor btitlaan 
groupi, the rejearch community and othen. And th*7 have largely aucccedcd. I know that 
they have attempted to aecommndate the dtmdon of tfitoi that have moved ahead with 
lystemlo reforiii aed don't need to itait over. 

The bill will M l worl d^Jaii mwdairll. and will match them with real opportimlty -tp-lein 
nandardi . The bill will caable ul all to focui on the whole rather than the parta. 

The bill !9)cllJ_rajLlhtJlciiwnttj?JLly»l«nls.ift!aJmifflttBn«nU>UDi for education, and while 
a few elemetiii rich ai the itandardi would be mendatory If the itaie wanta the money, other 
elements are Uluitrated with examples, not speddc requlremcnta. 

The bill autbks the fedenil igency to do what states have done - ttrrrf V^t" fPT higher 
QetfoxmanQC- This rcveali a setiiible determination to make standards de»r, hut not hold 
Khools accountable for the one best way to readi them, linee there b no one beat way. 

The bill prmldai a framework for all future federal action. Without this bill, the 
fragmeniBtlon In fedcnil policy *ill contimie. The fodoid agency will behave u It always 
has. Wo wiU condnue to have two systems that contend In every school. 

Finally, the bill crratea a pila pf prenure |nd support to plan for systemic change. Some 
qwerllon the need for the funds. 1 don't Moat of the money goes to the local level and It 
really is needed there, not to lop off the exiiUng programs but to fuel change, it does that 
by building capacity. 

In fummarv; five ns Ooals 2f)0Q 

Pcoflc will no doubt offer »o many suggestions for change that It would seem simpler to »c* 
this aride and get on with the rJemenlary and Secondary Education Act. But we need the 
Goals 2000 bill to establish the context for that naiuthorlratlon. If we mlu thla oppoitnnlty, 
we will fall to reach the National Education Ooali. In dme to come people will lay that we 
even failed to try. 


The Chairman. Mr. Bailey. 

Mr. Bailey. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank 
you for this opportunity to speak with you about this critically im- 
portant need for America's educational system. 

I am excited about the opportunity we have to reform our edu- 
cational system, but I am frightened about some of the reluctance 
to jump in and do something. I agree that we need this bill, and 
we need it quickly: we need help in our school systems. 

As I see it, the focus of this bill reinforces the lessons that I have 
learned in my classroom and what I have seen in my colleagues' 
classrooms. Five years ago, I took over some science programs at 
Satellite Beach High School in Melbourne, FL. The advanced place- 
ment science programs were not doing very well when I took them 
over — as a matter of fact, the passing rate was around 22 percent, 
and that is far below the national average. Within just a few years, 
we had doubled and tripled the enrollment in those advanced 
placement physics and biology programs, and our passing rates are 
now 85 to 100 percent, among the highest in the Nation. I wish I 
could take full credit for that. 

In international science competitions, it had been 20 years since 
we had had an international winner. We now are producing two 
and three international science competition winners every year. 
Again, I wish I could take full credit. 

But the responsibility for that really lies in the system that we 
were able to develop with teachers smd parents and students work- 
ing together. We have a system at Satellite High School that basi- 
cally reinforces three areas. The first is that there are high expec- 
tations, and those are calibrated with written standards to accom- 
pany them. High expectations that are not specified don't help any- 

The second is there are assessment tools available to every stu- 
dent so they can gauge their own progress toward achieving those 
standards. If there is no way of gauging progress, there is no moti- 
vation. We all know that. The human heart rises to the level of 

And Wie third component that is critical is that we have an envi- 
ronment at our school and a management structure at our school 
that encourages and allows innovation and creativity. If you have 
goals, if you nave assessment tools, but you don't have the ability 
to restructure your environment, to adapt, to be creative, to be in- 
novative, then you won't be able to reach those. 

Unfortunately, the environment that I just described does not 
exist in most of our Nation's schools. There are a lot of reform ef- 
forts going on, but they have not been systemic, the^ have not been 
widespread, and most of them are in tneir beginning stages. It is 
wonderful to see some of the successes. Florida has done an excel- 
lent job in beginning this effort, but we aren't there vet. 

One problem that I see is that even when the desire for excel- 
lence and high expectations exist in a classroom, the tools for the 
teacher for assessment, for comparison with national standards, for 
comparison with international standards, are not there. It is very 
similar to giving a track and field coach a team and saying, "I want 
you to do the best job you can with this team, but I'm sorry we 
don't have any stopwatches for you, we don't have any tape meas- 


ure for you, but just get out there and do the best you can and com- 
pare with one another." And Johnny will always run fast, and 
maybe Joey won't run as fast, and Johnny gets used to just giving 
enough to finish first, and Joey gets used to running in the middle 
of the pack. And that is what we have right now in many of our 
schools. It is not right, it is not best, and it is not desirable for ex- 
cellent in education. We have the opportunity to change that. 

If you think that is too extreme an example, then 1 suggest you 
spend some time in our schools. I also, when I talk witii students, 
ask them are you being challenged — how much do you feel the 

Eressure of your education — and most of them just do enou£^h to get 
y, because there is no high level of accountable standards for 
them. State by State, we are trying things, but it would be wonder- 
ful to have some leadership and some incentive at the national 
level to accomplish this. 

There have been some concerns raised. Again, I echo the opinion 
that whatever we do to change, to slightly modify this bill, is fine. 
We are open for debate on this. But we need this incentive at the 
national level. 

Let me simply close by saying that without national goals and 
national standards, we have no idea where we are headed. Without 
a system of assessment, we have no idea where we are in progress- 
ing to that level. And without the environment and the manage- 
ment structure being reformed, teachers have no possibility, no 
genuine possibility, of restructuring their classrooms in order to 
reach those goals. 

Thank you very much. 

The Chairman. Thank you. Mr. Bailey. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Bailey follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Tracey L. Bailey 

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I greatly appreciate this opportunity 
to speak to the issues in S. 846, the Goals 2000: Educate America Act. It is not often 
that a classroom teacher has the chance to bring his views before such an auspicious 
body and I thank you for the privilege. As I see it, the focus of this legislation rein- 
forces what I have found to be true in my own teaching experience and in the expe- 
riences of my successful colleagues. 

During the past 5 years of teaching in the public schools, my students and I have 
developed award-winning science programs and classes to the extent that they have 
achieved academic successes at the highest national and international levels. Our 
Advanced Placement science scores have gone from being mediocre at best to being 
among some of the highest in the Nation, and our students routinely win two or 
three international science competitions each year. This has all been accompli^ed 
at a regular public school with a diverse and changing student population. 

While I would love to take all the credit for their success, I must point out that 
much of it comes from an learning environment which provides three critical needs: 

• specific high expectations and standards; 

• a reliable system of feedback to gauge progress toward ^als; and 

• an environment which allows and encourages change, innovation, and correc- 

These are the main components of change and reform that have allowed my stu- 
dents and my school to succeed and excel. I genuinely believe that this combination 
has the greatest potential impact to improve the American educational system. 

Concerning high expectations, national standards and assessment, I have been 
fortunate to teach classes like Advanced Placement Physics and Advanced Place- 
ment Biology, where a system of national standards and assessment already exists. 
The academic goals, standards, and assessment tools for those specific classes are 
designed to adequately measure proficiencv and award early college credit to hi^ 
school sophomores through seniors for work in challenging, advanced classes. I owe 


much to the success of those programs to the high expectations set by the College 
Board, the reliable and constructive feedback available to those students, and the 
motivational and formative aspects of benchmarking progress and improvement. 

It is not unlike a race, or any athlete training for a competitive event. There are 
always goals, benchmarks, and standards whereby an individual or a team can as- 
sess and adjust their progress and training. 

Unfortunately, there is an environment in many classrooms that focuses attention 
on watered-down, low expectations, minimum competencies — rather than achieving 
maximum expectations and goeils. And even when the desire for excellence has been 
present, there have been woefully few resources to objectively gauge tmd compare 
progress of students against high national standards. The resources necessary are 
essential if constructive and formative changes are going to be made for both stu- 
dents and teachers to improve their performance. 

However, the best assessment tools in the world are of no values if the necessary 
changes indicated cannot be implemented inmiediately and practically in every 
classroom. It has been tremendously important to my success in teaching that I 
have been given the freedom and encouragement to initiate change and innovation 
in the classroom. My subjects area of science and engineering is based upon a cycle 
of experimentation, feedback, revision, and improvement. It is obvious to anyone 
who desires a system of continuous improvement that all teachers must be given 
that same freedom and encouragement if our Nation's students and schools are to 
reach their full potential. 

How sad it is that in many schools the structure and focus tends to center on 
"quietly managing the status quo," or doing the best job we can in roughly the same 
old ways. The oest-intentioned standards are futile unless there is an accompanying 
incentive and an environment that facilitates positive change, innovation, and cre- 
ativity from all levels of the system. These are the hard lessons that General Motors 
and IBM have learned and we in education dare not continue to ignore them. 

I have worked closely with Florida's statewide systemic reform initiatives which 
stress community involvement, individual initiative and empowerment, and continu- 
ous improvement. These ideas are as necessary in education as they are in industry, 
and are so far overdue in their broad application in schools that we are seeing the 
same difiiculties in global competition as our corporate colleagues have experienced. 
However, the encouraging news from corporate America and from my experience in 
the classroom is that we can restructure and refocus our efforts effectively — with 
fast and positive results. 

In my efforts to work with and train other teachers in school reform it becomes 
immediately obvious that a number of components are necessary for these changes 
to be effective. Chief among these is the need for staff development and retraining. 
These are the same lessons learned by industry, and it should come as no surprise 
that statewide, systemic reform in the school is going to take the same type of con- 
certed effort and commitment of energy and resources. 

Finally, a word needs to be said in support of opportunity-to-leam standards. Sim- 
ply put, I feel it is critically important— as we set high standards, and implement 
statewide reforms — that we have some gauge and some standard whereby to meas- 
ure the resources and opportunities that diildren from drastically different back- 
grounds are being offered. In any form of problem-solving or system of change, it 
has been essential for me to know accurately and concretely the different variables 
and constants that are affecting my students outcomes and performance. This infor- 
mation can only improve the process of change and decision-making at the local 

In closing, I must reiterate that this combination of high expectations and na- 
tional standards, outeome-based assessment and accountability, and incentives for 
systemic, voluntfiry, statewide reform truly strike at the heart of the needs of edu- 
cation in America. It is only fair and rational that any proposal for raising expecta- 
tions of student performance be linked, as this proposal is, with increased opportu- 
nities to learn and incentives for change. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Senator Kassebaum, would you like to introduce 
Mr. Conard? 

Senator Kassebaum. Yes. I am very pleased to welcome Norman 
Conard, who was the 1992 Kansas Teacher of the Year. He has 
gone back to his roots in Kansas, to a certain extent. He has taught 
6 years in a small rural district, but he spent 10 years teaching in 
Los Angeles, so it is quite a comparison to have done both. 


Since his selection as Teacher of the Year, he has travelled ex- 
tensively around the State and around the country. All of our Kan- 
sas Teachers of the Year have continued a mentoring process for 
other teachers, and I am sure this is true in Florida as well. 

Mr. Conard has been a real inspiration to other teachers and has 
used his students as well to speak to the innovation in education 
which I think is exciting for everyone to see, particularly through 
the video documentaries which he has encouraged as a history and 
government teacher. I have seen some of those documentaries, and 
they are really extraordinary in their presentation. I suppose what 
we are hearing from all teachers who are excelling is a dedication 
to teaching and a respect for learning which reauy can never be 
legislated. And those who have had that and who will continue to 
have that are the ones who inspire us all. 

I am very pleased that Mr. Conard could take time away from 
class today. 

Thank you, Mr. Conard. 

Mr. Conard. Thank you. Senator, and thank you for giving me 
the opportunity to discuss the President's education reform bill, 
and my students, who did not have homework last night because 
I am here, thank you also. 

As a history teacher, I recognize the importance of reform, and 
progressive reform in the mid-1800's and early 1900's have caused 
great good of society and great change. I share with this committee 
the belief that every child can learn on higher levels, and that 
teachers should be held accountable for that student learning. 

Our culture and society have changed a great deal over tne last 
100 years — I don't need to tell anyone that — and education needs 
to change along with it. In my history class, I am constantly evolv- 
ing in the way that I present my subject matter. Education itself 
needs to evolve also; that evolution must continue. 

The State of Kansas has been a leader in restructuring in the 
Nation. Our State has gone to great lengths to restructure and re- 
form, and we realize that developing outstanding schools is not an 
easy task. 

The education bill has some excellent sections. I applaud the vol- 
untary target and mention of fair opportunity to achieve knowledge 
and skills, and I applaud some of the Secretary's comments a few 
minutes ago about parental involvement, which I think is ex- 
tremely important. The parent is vital to the success of our class- 

I was networking with some of my teachers over the past few 
days, and I think I perceived a little bit of skepticism from around 
different parts of Kansas about the bill — a new administration, 
maybe another reform package, and sometimes trends can equal 
paperwork, and that can equal less classroom time. So I picked up 
a little skepticism in visiting with some administrators and friends 
of mine. In fact, I had one administrator friend who said after 
reading the bill that he thought it was a little difficult to com- 
prehend, and said to me that it was probably written by either a 
Ph.D. or someone with a 3rd grade education, because no one in 
between could understand it. 

Well, I don't agree with that, but sometimes as we wade through 
these different reform measures, it is difficult to imderstand what 


the eventual goal will be. And that eventual goal should go down 
to the classroom; that's the bottom line. One of my seniors told me 
yesterday, "Be sure you speak for the student." That's what we are 
here for — the committee and the teachers and the administrators 
and everybody else — the bottom line is how will this translate in 
the classroom. 

While reading this bill, I wondered about how the Federal Gov- 
ernment would facilitate what is goin^ on at the State and local 
levels. A lot of this is already happenmg in Kansas as far as re- 
structure and reform. How will that affect our State? 

In reading, I had additional questions. What about funding? 
What about resources? In order to achieve our goals, we have to 
have adequate resources, and better teachers demand better pay; 
we need smaller class sizes. And don't misunderstand. The money 
is not the catch-all with this situation. I have the greatest job in 
the world. I have a better job than a United States Senator, be- 
cause I get to teach history every day and work with wonderful 
young people and get paid for it, and you can't beat that. So money 
is not the answer, but we do have schools in this country with in- 
adequate resources, and we have classroom sizes that are much too 

This reform package deals with assessment standards, and it 
deals with national goals, and maybe the assessment picture is not 
as clear as it could be. I am wondering about a national system of 
assessment or a national system of standards — what can be done 
to take advantage of what is ^oing on in the States right now? As 
I said, in Kansas, we are meetmg many of these criteria. 

The new administration's concern is admirable, but I think we 
have to consider the role of the States. And we have used the terms 
"top-down" and not enough "bottom-up" reform several times this 
morning, but I think there must be a balance, and there should be 
a balance in dealing with this. 

It is paramount also that teachers be involved, so we teachers on 
this panel thank you for including us. Teachers as leaders in edu- 
cational reform is such an important concept, and teachers should 
be involved in designing these bills and in implementing them, at 
all levels. 

The idea of a national standard would in my opinion require a 
national curriculum. And that is something that perhaps has not 
been mentioned this morning. I believe that many of my colleagues 
would not support a national curriculum. I know the word vol- 
untary" is used repeatedly in this bill, but I wonder about a na- 
tional curriculum being around the comer. 

Now, in the industrialized world, there are several nations that 
have Federal mandates and Federal curricula, where everything is 
structured exactly to what a teacher may teach at a certain time. 
But in this country, we have a great creativity, a wonderful creativ- 
ity among our students and among our people, and a very diverse 
population. So as you consider this bill, keep in mind we are a 
unique people and a very unique Nation. 

A major concern of mme deals with the local teacher, £ind again, 
I realize this is voluntary, but the pressure again will be from the 
top down to adopt this system. Does that mean that we will have 


more Federal forms, more paperwork, and less options? I would 
hope not, because all of that translates into less class time. 

I might invite ^ou to Uniontown High School in our district to 
see some of the innovations going on m our area. We are a very 
small place on the map— Senator Kassebaum can help you find it — 
and we do things in that area that I think are very innovative. We 
also have a wonderful regional cooperative which has been copied 
by 30 States, which offers fiber optics, countless in-service opportu- 
nities and innovations in education. 

Finally, Walt Whitman being one of my very favorite people in 
American history, I would like to paraphrase him if I can. He said 
that each teacher at one time or anotner walks each pupil to the 
window, and with the left hand around the waist, points wiUi the 
right hand to those endless and beginningless roads. With any re- 
form package, I would hope that as a teacher, my creativity and 
flexibility in the classroom to point out those roads would not be 
limited and that my students would not be given less options of 
roads to follow. 

My students want to thank you and salute you for your concern 
for the future. 

The Chairman. Is that from the poem, "Leaves of Grass"? 

Mr. CoNARD. Yes; it's from the dialogue of all those poems, yes, 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Conard follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Norman Conard 

First of all, let me thank you for the opportunity to discuss the President's edu- 
cation reform bill. As a history teacher, I recognize the importance of reform from 
our American past. Progressive reform in the mid-19th and early 20th century 
caused great change for the good of society. I share with you the belief that every 
child can learn at nigher levels and should be eguipped with the knowledge to be- 
come a contributing citizen. It is also my belier that every teacher and educator 
must be held accountable for student learning. 

Our culture and society have changed a great deal over the last 100 years, and 
education needs to change along with it. In my history class, the way I present the 
subject matter is constantly evolving. Therefore, our outlook concerning goals for the 
future must also be evolvmg. The State of Kansas, like the rest of the Nation, is 
in the process of transition. Our State realizes that to build outstanding schools is 
not an easv task. Our State has been a leader in the restructuring of scnools; Sen- 
ator Kassebaum understands this and has provided excellent support for education. 

The education bill has some excellent sections. I applaud the voluntary targets 
and mention of fair opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills possible. I also 
applaud President Clmton's strong indication that he will be conunitted to shaping 
a meaningful role in improving and supporting education. 

While reading this bul, I wondered about how all of this was going to be put in 
place. I wondered how the Federal Government would facilitate what is gomg on 
at the State and local levels. In ray reading, additional questions were raised. What 
about funding in the reforming ofour schools? In order to tichieve the broad goals, 
schools must nave the resources to carry out the programs. If we want better teach- 
ers, we must pay teachers better. If we want to improve our schools, we must reduce 
class size. Please don't misunderstand, money is not the catch-all answer. I, for one, 
have the greatest job in the world, even better than being a U.S. Senator. I teadi 
a wonderlul subject — history. I work with young people and get paid for it. Yet, 
many schools are without proper funding and teachers endure class sizes much too 
large. How will this bill address that situation? The bottom line in everything about 
this bill is; How will it translate in the classroom? What are the advantages for our 
students? A senior in my government class told me yesterday to speak for the stu- 
dents, as well as the teachers. 

This reform package mentions some key terms, such as national standards and 
assessments. The assessment picture is not as clear. Are we headed toward a na- 


tional test or a system of assessments? What wUI be done to take advantage of all 
the work currently underway in the States? Kansas has adopted school improve- 
ment outcomes of the Quality Performance Accreditation system and addresses 
many parts of the education reform bill. 

The new administration's concern is admirable, but we must strongly consider the 
role of the States in this matter. The trend in education seems to be for more top- 
down and not enough bottom-up reform, and there must be a balance. Please don't 
forget the role of the classroom teacher in determining standards. It is paramount 
that teachers be involved, not in a token way, but truly involved in reform. Teachers 
choosing teachers for reform involvement would give everyone a voice and a sense 
of ownership. Your National Education Standards and Improvement Council is a 
step in the right direction, but more teacher inclusion with this package would be 

The idea of a national standard would require a national curriculum. I believe 
most of my colleagues would oppose this measure of a national curriculum. The 
word voluntary is used repeatedly, but is a national curriculum around the comer? 
Several nations of the industrialized world have this federal mandate, but we are 
different and unique. We are a nation of great creativity. I wish you could see some 
of the video work my students produce on social issues. The creativity and diversity 
of our population, when enhanced by our educational system, produces greatness. 
In discussing national standards, let us not forget the uniqueness of our country. 

Here are some more thoughts from the classroom as you consider this bill. Please 
include advanced telecommunications in any portion of school improvement. Our 
small rural high school will use fiber optics to offer Russian and Japanese next year, 
plus a wide variety of other classes. Involve the business community in the research 
and development phase of reform. Finally, incentives for parental involvement pro- 
grams, would facilitate student learning. The role of the parent is vital in reform. 

A major concern of mine deals with the local teacher. I realize this is all vol- 
untary, but the pressure again wUl be from the "top down" to adopt this system. 
WiU this mean extra paperwork and Federal forms for the classroom teacher? As 
a teacher, will I have less options? We all hope this is not the case. I Invite you 
to Kansas and, more specifically, to Uniontown. Senator Kassebaum and I wiU help 
you find it on a map. Come and observe what our State and district are doing with 
curriculum, selection of materials, and in-service opportunities. Visit our wonderful 
regional cooperative at Greenbush and see innovative education. Many districts in 
this country are similar to ours. 

Finally, being a fan of Walt Whitman, I want to paraphrase him. Every teacher 
at one time or other, walks each pupU to the window and with the left hand around 
the waist, points with the right, to those endless and beginningless roads. The 
teacher, with any reform package, should not lose the flexioility and creativity of 
the classroom to point out endless roads. Nor should the student be limited to cer- 
tain roads from which to choose. 

My history students thank you and salute your concern for their future. 

The Chairman. Ms. Davis. 

Ms. Davis. Chairman Kennedy, Senator Kassebaum, and other 
members of the committee, my name is Linda Davis, and I am the 
deputy superintendent in a very large urban district, the San Fran- 
cisco Unified School District. 

We have 64,000 students who come from diverse backgrounds 
and circumstances. Approximately 85 percent of our students are 
members of ethnic or diverse backgrounds; one-third of our stu- 
dents speak a primary language other than English, be it Man- 
darin or Cantonese Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnam- 
ese, or other language or dialect. 

Working with such a diverse student population, it is my belief 
that all children can learn. The President's education reform bill 
reflects this belief. By laying the groundwork for high standards, 
covering what all children should know and what they should be 
able to do, it raises educational expectations for each child, even 
those in the San Francisco Unified School District. 

The fundamental key to actually being able to reach these higher 
standards and expectations means reform — systemic reform — from 


the federal level, from the State level, from the local level, school 
district and within classrooms. That is the most critical key I can 
share with you today. 

I am heartened because I see this education reform bill including 
all of the main components that must be addressed simultaneously. 
Not only shall we look at the curriculum; we must look at teaching 
and learning, teacher development student support systems, and 

In San Francisco, our teachers are struggling with the ideas of 
how do we look at what children know, and how do we have chil- 
dren show what they know, and we are linked in a support system 
with other teachers across the Nation, having these conversations 
and being able to connect and find out what works most effectively. 
We are partners in San Francisco in a 5-year science education re- 
form effort with one of the most outstanding preeminent medical 
schools, the University of California San Francisco. We have devel- 
oped a city science program together, where all teachers in elemen- 
tary grades K through 5 are learning how to teach science in a 
much more exciting and thoughtful way. 

With the help of reform-minded scientists, our classroom teach- 
ers are teaching one another how to teach science in a hands-on, 
effective manner. Learning materials have now been adopted which 
will support and be used as tools for classroom teachers to help 
every child be able to reason, critically think, and be able to solve 
problems on their own. 

The other example I would like to share with you is another in- 
side-outside organization called the Center for Collaborative 
Change. This is a broad partnership that is supported partly by 
Federal funds, the Federal Partnerships Program. It involves busi- 
nesses, foundations, community-based organizations, parents, stu- 
dents and teachers, coming together for a threefold mission. That 
collaborative identifies and coordinates resources from within and 
without the district and has these resources directed based on 
school needs to improve student performance. The capacity for in- 
structional innovative teaching is there, and we need to have more 
professional investment in how teachers do their business, and that 
means having communities of learners. We are all communities of 
learners together. So this effort has come together in a most effi- 
cient way to coordinate what we do so that we aren't disjointed and 
that some teachers in one school get vested interest in how to write 
better, and other schools have nothing. So we are trying to look at 
this whole effort as a partnership and an extension. 

We recognize, though, as collaborators that change comes from 
the smallest unit, and that is the classroom, the classroom teacher. 
You can't mandate change, because not only does it require skill; 
it requires the motivation, the commitment, and the discretionary 
judgment on the part of those who must change. It requires the 
constructive shared meaning at every school site and in every 

In closing, I beheve that the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act" 
signals a renewed effort to reform our Nation's schools. I firmly 
support the administration in this effort and urge you to enact this 

Thank you. 


The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Davis follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Linda F. Davis 

Chairman Kennedy, Senator Kassebaum, members of the committee. My name is 
Linda Davis and it is a pleasure to appear before you today. 

I am the Deputy Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, a 
large urban scnool district that educates 64,000 students from the broad range of 
backgrounds and circumstances. Approximately 85% of our students are meim>er8 
of ethnic minority groups. The district prides itself on this diversity and is commit- 
ted to respond to the varied needs of all ethnic and cultural groups. One-third of 
our students speak a primary language other than English, be it Mandarin or Can- 
tonese Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, Russian, Vietnamese, or another language or dia- 

Working with such a diverse student population, it is my firm belief that ALL 
children can learn. The President's education reform bill reflects this belief. By lay- 
ing the groundwork for high standards covering what fdl children ^ould know and 
be able to do, it raises educational expectations for every child, including those in 
the San Francisco Unified school District. 

The fundamental key to reaching these higher standards and expectations is re- 
form — systemic reform that occurs simultaneously at the Federal, State, district, 
and individual school levels. I am heartened by this education reform bill because 
it includes the main components that must be addressed concurrently — curriculum, 
teaching and learning, teacher development, student support systems, and assess- 

Reform must focus on the development and interrelationships of those compo- 
nents — not just on structure, policy and regulations — ^but on deeper issues imbedaed 
in the culture of the systems. In San Francisco in 1989, the teacher's union leader- 
ship and the district together wrote the Restructuring Schools Initiative which be- 
came the foundation for restructuring within the district. We have progressed, in 
partnership, to develop a learning organization that is seeking continuous improve- 

I will describe some of the progress in San Francisco that illustrates that the 
Goals 2000: Educate America Act is the foundation for what we know needs to hap- 
pen to improve America's schools. We have become a community of learners and 
strive to reach decisions based on research and data. Our teachers are designing 
means of authentic assessment. Teachers work in collaborative groups and are 
joined in a national networic that supports them in the development of authentic 
assessment tools. 

We are partners in a 5 year science-education reform with one of the Nation's pre- 
eminent medical schools, the University of California, at San Francisco. Throu^ 
this program, the science liter£u:y of all the district's elementary school teachers is 
being improved. This city science program is an example of a regional coalition of 
reform-minded scientists and classroom teachers. Classroom teachers help one an- 
other to teach hands-on science effectively. Learning materials have been adopted 
which wiU assist teachers to provide high quality instruction to the children. This 
new process will get children used to solving problems on their own. 

The final example I will talk about is supported partially by the Federal Partner- 
ships Program. The total school community, including teachers, students, adminis- 
trators, parents, businesses, foundations and community-based organizations have 
created a Center for Collaborative Change. This 3-year old endeavor is a joint ven- 
ture to provide support and capacity for whole school change within the San Fran- 
cisco Unified School District. The Center for Collaborative Change's three-fold mis- 
sion is: 

• to identify and coordinate the resources available for whole school change to 
improve student learning outcomes; 

• to develop capacity for innovative instructional and professional development 
at school sites; and 

• to strengthen collaborative working relationships between the school sites, 
central office and broader community. 

Constituents who are a part of the Center for Collaborative Change recognize that 
you can't mandate change. It requires skill motivation, commitment and discre- 
tionary judgment on the part of those who must change. The center provides re- 
sources and support for whole school change. 

Quick-fix solutions are not substitutions for the hard work, skill and commitment 
needed to blend different structural changes into a successful reform effort. 


We recognize that it is not enough to achieve isolated pockets of success. Reform 
fails unless we can demonstrate that pockets of success add up to new structures, 
procedures, and school cultures that press for continuous improvement. 

The Goals 2000: Educate America Act signals that the government will be a part- 
ner in the reform effort. Your leadership wUl lay the cornerstone that leads to essen- 
tial restructuring in many areas, including the reauthorization of Chapter I of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This symbolizes a new beacon li^t of 
support and direction to all of us, nationwide. 

I believe symbols are important because they are essential for galvanizing visions, 
aomiring resources and carrying out concerted action. The Clinton administration 
is designing Goals 2000: Education America Act to be a galvanizing force for all of 
us as we strive to solve the learning problems of students and teach ALL of Ameri- 
ca's children. I firmly support the administration in this effort, and urge you to 
enact this bill. 

The Chairman. We have saved the best for last — Massachusetts. 
Greorge Kaye, we are delighted to have you. We have gfreat respect 
for the hospital; they have been very creative in infant mortality 
programs and a wide range of other health issues. Yesterday I was 
at the Shattuck Hospital in Boston, where we had a hearing on tu- 
berculosis. We have a good program in Massachusetts. And one lit- 
tle point. The average time in your hospital, as I understand, is 6.3 
days; for a homeless person, it is 18 days average time — for the ob- 
vious reasons of more complexity. 

In any event, we are glad to have you. 

Mr. Kaye. Thank you for your kind comments, Mr. Chairman, 
Senator Kassebaum, members of the committee. 

I am vice president for human resources at Brigham and Wom- 
en's Hospital, which is a 720-bed acute care facility that is affili- 
ated with Harvard Medical School. We employ approximately 7,500 
individuals and have approximately 1,500 physicians affiliated with 
our staff". I am very pleased to be here this morning to testify in 
favor of the President's bill. 

I am the person at the hospital who is responsible for hiring 
qualified, competent and efficient staff to run our hospital and pro- 
vide quality patient care. Having been in human resource manage- 
ment for over 25 years, I have seen times of great shortage of 
qualified help, and I have seen times of abundance. Right now, be- 
cause of the economy, we are in what appears on the surface to be 
a time of abundance. However, this is only a temporary State of af- 
fairs, and the future portends the return of shortages, especially in 
technical areas and areas that will require computer literacy. 

Two years ago, I chaired a Commission of the American Society 
of Health Care/Human Resources Administration, which produced 
a report called "Healthcare 2000: A World of Human Resource Dif- 
ferences." In the report, projects were made about the supply of 
qualified people who would be available in the year 2000 to fill im- 
portant jobs in health care. The projections are bleak, and I will 
share just a few of them with you. Registered nurses, a vacancy 
rate of 12 percent; respiratory therapists, a vacancy rate of 19 per- 
cent; physical therapists, a vacancy rate of 15 percent; medical 
technologists, 46 percent, and pharmacists, 36 percent. 

At the same time that all of the above is coming into play, an- 
other trend has paralleled my career in human resource manage- 
ment. That parallel has been the general decline in the quality of 
education that we provide to our children and to my future employ- 


ees. I can cite some of the reports that have been cited this morn- 
ing, but I shall not do that. 

I can tell you, though, that 2 years ago in the city of Boston, we 
graduated 3,000 youths, and only one of those went on to nursing 
school. On the otner hand, I can point to wonderful programs like 
Project Protech, which is a vocational 2 plus 2 model of teaching 
juniors and seniors from the Boston schools to earn their way to 
careers in health care. But the bottom line is that there are too few 
such programs, no defined standards of skills, and at the rate we 
are educating our youngsters, we will not be able to hire them to 
move this work force and American industry into step as a serious 
player in the world marketplace of the future. 

I am very concerned because I see children graduate who are not 
literate, who are not numerate, who do not know how to use com- 
puters, while at the same time, our business world says that these 
are the basic skills our employees must have. 

As a major employer in Boston — by the way, Boston health care 
employs 13 percent of the city's population — ^I do not see us prop- 
erly educating the population that I will desperately need to st^ 
my hospital. 

In terms of the bill before you, it does allow for systemic reform 
and tracking of the changes we need in education. As I said earher, 
there are thousands of Uttle projects out there, but none com- 
prehensively address reform. This Act allows for that. 

One issue that I have heard discussed a lot is the issue of what 
response our students will have to these reforms. Let me tell vou 
fi-om my Project Protech experience that these children can and do 
respond to the challenge of being educated and being held account- 
able. I have seven seniors in Project Protech; there are 47 of them 
in the city of Boston, which is run by a collaborative of seven Bos- 
ton hospitals. These are inner-city kids who were recruited into the 
program, and they are treated as employees. They are disciplined, 
they are held to high standards, and they respond. 

My seven have increased their grade average by a whole grade 
since coming into the program last year as juniors. All seven have 
been accepted into college. These were kids who had no notion of 
where they were going when they came to us in the first place. 
Today, they are valued part-time employees who will go off to col- 
leges next year to learn to become an ophthalmology technician, a 
physical therapy technician, two nurses, a computer operator, a ra- 
diology technician and a paralegal. Right behind them is a junior 
class of 61 who wdll follow in their footsteps. 

The mentors of these young adults all report a similar phenome- 
non: The more you challenge these kids, the more they want to 
learn. And here is where it is all-important. Whether it be children 
or adult workers, those people want to improve themselves. We 
need to have a system in place to help them do that. We need to 
be able to say that these are the skills we employers value and 
need at our workplace; these are the standards you need to reach 
to be employed in a good job. In our Protech program, this is ex- 
actly what we are doing for some 108 students. We tell them what 
standards they must reach and maintain. We teach them skills 
they will need to succeed. They know what they have to do, and 
we need to have a system that will do the same for all industries 


in this country. And all this should be portable, so that a student 
who gets educated in Boston can carry that skill base to Los Ange- 
les or Detroit and know that the same skill standards will be need- 
ed in those cities. 

Until we match what skills we as employers need with what and 
how these skills are taught in our schools, and until these students 
understand and know what skill standards they must achieve to 
become gainfully employed in good jobs, our education system and 
future employment possibilities will suffer, and we will not be able 
to compete in the world marketplace. The bar code will replace the 
need for an alphabet and numbers, and we will all be the poorer 
for that. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Kaye follows:] 

Prepaked Statemei-jt of George H. Kaye 

Chairman Kennedy, Senator Kassebaum, members of the committee: 

My name is George H. Kaye and I am the vice president for Human Resources 
at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. I have held that position since 1978. 
Brigham and Women's Hospital is a 720 bed acute care, teaching hospital affiliated 
with Harvard Medical School. We employ approximately 7,500 individuals and have 
some 1,500 physicians affiliated with us. I am very pleased to be here tlus morning 
to testify in favor of the President's bUl. 

From 1988 to 1991 I was president-elect, president and past president of the 
American Society for Health Care Human Resources (ASHHRA). This professional 
organization has approximately 3,000 members and is afiiliated with the Americtm 
Hospital Association. While serving in these roles, my interest in literacy in the 
United States grew and became the issue on which I spoke around the country. 

In my role as a vice president for Human Resources, I am the executive respon- 
sible for hiring qualified, competent and efficient staff to run the hospital and pro- 
vide both administrative leadership and quality patient care. Having been in human 
resource management for over 25 years, I have seen times of shortage of (qualified 
helps and times of abundance. Right now, because of the economy, we are m what 
on the surface appears to be a time of abundance. However, this is only a temporary 
state of affairs and the future portends the return of shortages, especially in tech- 
nical areas and areas that will require Uteracy and computer literacy. 

Two years ago, I chaired a commission of the ASHIBIA which produced a report 
called Tlealthcare 2000: A World of Human Resource Differences." In the reoort, 
projections were made about the supply of qualified people who would be available 
to fill important jobs in the health care industry by the year 2000. The projections 
are bleak and just to give you an idea the report points to vacancy rates in tne year 
2000 like these: ms — 12%, respiratory therapists — 19%, physical therapists — 15%, 
medical technologists — 46%, pharmacists — 36%. 

At the same time that aU of the above is coming into play, another trend has par- 
alleled my career in human resources. That parallel has been the general decline 
in the quality of education that we provide to our children and to my future employ- 
ees. I can cite declining rates in standardized tests. I can cite studies that show 
American youth are behind those of England, Japan, Canada, and Korea. I can tell 
you that 2 years ago, when the Boston public school system graduated 3,000 youths, 
only one went on to nursing school. I can also point to wonderful programs like 
Project Protech, which is a vocational 2+2 model of teaching juniors and seniors 
from the Boston schools to earn their way to careers in heat care. But the bottom 
line is that there are too few such programs, no defined standards of skills and at 
the rate we are educating our youngsters, we will not be able to hire them to move 
this work force and American industry into step as a serious player in the world 
marketplace of the future. 

I am very concerned because I see children graduate who are not literate, who 
are not numerate, who do not know how to use computers while at the same time 
our business world says these are the basic skills our employees must have to be 
a labor force that competes in the world marketplace. As a major employer in Bos- 
ton (we employ 13% of the population of that city in healthcare), I do not see us 
properly educating the population which will desperately need to staff my hospital 
in the mture. 


In terms of the bill before you, it does allow for Byatemic reform and tracking of 
the changes we need in education. As I said earlier, there are a thousand little 
projects out there, but none comprehensively address reform. This act allows for 

One issue that I have heard discussed a lot is the issue of what response to edu- 
cational reform our young students will have. Let me tell you from my Project 
Protech experience that ^ese children can and do respond to the challenge of being 
educated and being held accountable. I have seven seniors in Project Protech. There 
are 47 in the program which is run as a collaborative by seven Boston hospitals. 
These are inner city kids who were recruited into the program and they are treated 
as employees. They are disciplined, they are held to nigh standards, and they re- 
spond. Mv seven have increased their grade average by one whole grade since com- 
ing into the program last year as juniors and been accepted into college. These were 
kids who had no notion of where they were goin^ when they came into Protech. 
Today they are valued part-time employees who will go off to colleges next year to 
become an ophthalmology technician, a physical therapy technician, 2 nurses, a 
computer operator, a ramolo^ technician and a paralegal. Right behind them is a 
junior class of 16 at my facibty who will follow in their Tootsteps. There are 61 jun- 
iors in the program citywide. 

Let me also tell you about the response to discipline. If you ask anv of these stu- 
dents what it means when they 8a« absent from work, they respond "I let my co- 
workers down." One of the hardest days in the life of a supervisor of one of uiese 
students was when she had to discipline this student for being excessively tardy to 
work. She said that it did not make any difference that this student's mother was 
a drug addict and sister was dying at age 16. The student had to come to work on 
time, or else lose the job. The student was put on final warning. The next week the 
supervisor received a note, "you are hard and strict, but you are fair." The student 
will graduate on June 12, and go to college next September, on the way to lesiming 
all about computers. 

The mentors of these youth adults all report a similar phenomena. The more vou 
challenge these kids, the more they want to learn. And if you ask them what tney 
wiU be studying for, they will tell you "for something I never heard of until I came 
into the hospital". This is a 2 year turnaround! 

And here is where it is all important. Whether it be children, or adult workers, 
they want to improve themselves and we need to have a system in place to help 
them do that. We need to be able to say these are the skills we employers value 
and need at our workplace. These are the standards you need to reach to be em- 
ployed in a good job. In our Protech program, this is exactly what we are doing for 
some 108 students. We tell them what standards they must reach and maintain. 
We teach them skills they will need to succeed. They know what they have to do 
and we need to have a system that will do the same in all industries in this country. 
I can track and watch my students. I can help change curriculum when it needs 
to be changed to help the students better learn a skill tney need. And all this should 
be portable so that a student who gets educated in Boston can carrv that skill base 
to Los Angeles or Detroit and know that the same skills standard will be needed 
in those cities. 

Until we match what skills we as employers need with what and how these skills 
are taught in our schools and until these students understand and know what skill 
standards they must achieve to become gainfully employed in good jobs, our edu- 
cation system and future employment possibilities will sufler and we will not be 
able to compete in the world marketplace. The bar code will replace the need for 
an alphabet and numbers and we will have to settle for a second rate society which 
will no longer be a world leader. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. We are going to do a spe- 
cial hearing on the skills aspect, but certainly what you have out- 
lined here is something that we would hope to be able to achieve 
in a variety of different ways for young people. 

Let me ask you, Mr. Kaye, you must have talked to other hos- 
pital administrators; do you find that the challenge you are facing 
at Brigham Hospital exists generally in Boston and other major 
cities around the country? 

Mr. Kaye. It definitely exists in Boston, and it exists across the 
country. The program that I refer to is a seven-hospital collabo- 
rative that, even though we are in a competitive health care deliv- 


ery system, when it comes to this issue, we do not compete because 
we know the stakes are just too great. We have to cooperate. It 
doesn't make any difference if somebody works for me or goes 
across town, as long as they become an educated member of our 
disciphne; that's what is important. 

The Chairman. That is a very enhghtened position. 

I am going to have to necessarily excuse myself at this moment, 
and Senator Kassebaum has some further questions, but I want to 
express my appreciation to the whole panel for very constructive 
and helpful testimony. And as we move through this process, we 
hope we can draw on you for continued exchange; we'll have dif- 
ferent recommendations from members of the committee and from 
the administration, and we'd like to be able to draw on you as re- 
sources, because I think you have given a great deal of thoughtful 
attention to these issues which we are addressing. So I thank you 
very much. 

Senator Kassebaum. 

Senator Kassebaum [presiding]. I would agree with the chair- 
man. I think it has been a very interesting panel, largely because 
you all are there where you are working every day with these is- 

As you all know, last year we had similar legislation before us 
and spent some time trying to put it together. It had "Goals 2000" 
and various remedies, many of which are in this legislation as well. 
In some ways, I had the same nagging problem about that as I do 
about this, which is: Is this really what is necessary to improve our 
children's education? 

Nearly all of you have spoken of the importance of this as an in- 
centive and I don't disagree with that. I think that everyone inter- 
ested in education believes that we need more systemic, more com- 
prehensive efforts, and yet done in a way that could squelch the 
creativity and innovation that comes at the local level. 

Of course, being a bit parochial, I happen to think that in Kan- 
sas, perhaps as in Vermont, we have an opportunity to be more 
hands-on than, say, San Francisco, and that we are able to work 
closer to the source working with the challenges that exist. 

I strongly agree with all of those who have said that students 
will respond to higher challenges. If we lift expectations of them 
higher, they will meet those expectations. 

Maybe this is too broad an approach, but if you had to put to- 
gether Federal legislation at this point, what would be a top prior- 
ity that you feel would need to be in an education reform bill — not 
the specifics of Chapter 1 or Chapter 2 that will come with reau- 
thorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, but in 
a broad outline of Federal involvement as we look to education re- 
form, is there any one thing that you think needs to be stressed? 

Dr. Mills, perhaps we could start with you. 

Mr. Mills. I think we have to bring the Federal partner into the 
same game that the States and local communities are in. Right 
now, 3^ou have parallel systems almost in contention with one an- 
other in every school. You can see it when you tour a school. That's 
where we do Chapter 1. I think you get the point. We are not firing 
on all cylinders, if I could change the metaphor. It is important for 
everybody to be together. 


If I could say one other thing — and you did ask for the top one — 
I would say to make the expectations clear. It is important to have 
a balance between standards of result and standards of oppor- 
tunity. And this thing will work if we have made that a real bal- 
ance, so that we can say to a child we really do mean world-class 
performance in science — and by the way, we want to show you the 
laboratory. There have got to be high standards set for results and 
a real chance to get there. 

Senator Kassebaum. High national standards. 

Mr. Mills. National may not be high enough. I think people are 
talking about world-class. We benchmark our performance against 
a handful of other States, and we do that because I suspect they 
are benchmarking their performance against the world's best. 

Senator Kassebaum. You would not support, I would assume, a 
national curriculum, however. 

Mr. Mills. No, I don't think there is much possibility of that. 
There is such tremendous leadership among teachers — and you 
have seen that today — ^that will preclude that. But there is the 
need for a nationwide alliance. In fact, there are many nationwide 
alliances to get the math standards right and to think about what 
the pieces of a curriculum would look like. 

Kentucky, for example, at a meeting recently challenged a group 
of my colleagues to help develop curriculum units. They said they 
were going to try and develop 60 of them in different parts of the 
program. We aren't going to let Kentucky get away with that; we're 
going to match them. And that is the way innovation happens. 

This is an opportunity for mutual growth. 

Senator Kassebaum. Well, I would agree with that, but I think 
the illustration you gave is one that is important to remember, that 
we don't constrict it, either, with these Federal guidelines, which 
could perhaps take away some of that challenge that you would feel 
toward what Kentucky is doing. I think it is very important that 
we not loose sight of that as well. I guess that has been my con- 
cern — ^and maybe we won't, with those of you who are engaged in 
education who will be fighting to make sure that it doesn't become 
an oppressive hand from the federal level. 

Do you have school-based management initiatives in Vermont? 

Mr. Mills. Yes, we do, and interestingly enough, it is coming 
from exactly the right place. You can't really change governance 
from the top in a State like Vermont. You have to listen to local 
school boards and teachers and principals and so on. A large panel 
of such people has worked for the last year to develop a much more 
sensible, much more locally-based system of school governance. I 
think it is likely to work simply because it is coming from where 
it is coming. 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Conard, do you have a prioriW that you would place at the 
top of the list if you were doing this Federal legislation? 

Mr. Conard. Well, first of all. Senator, just very quickly, to put 
reform in perspective, I have a quote from history, which goes 
something like this: To be competitive in the world, we need re- 
form, and we need it now. That quote wasn't presented by a politi- 
cian or someone in education last year, but by Horace Mann in the 
1840's. So reform and school transformation is an ongoing process. 


But to answer your question, I agree with Mr. Mills. Some of the 
States in our country have outstanding examples of successful pro- 
grams in education — ^Vermont and Kentucky, Kansas, Washington. 
It would be my suggestion that the Federal (jovemment might ex- 
amine these States, find out what is working, and then try to im- 
plement those programs on a national standard. But let's look at 
the States and see the States that are being very successful with 
educational programs. States that are involved in site decision 
management. States that are letting the local schools and local 
teachers and local school boards and administrators set the plan 
and set the standard for that State — and in Kansas, as you well 
know, one of the strong parts of our quality performance accredita- 
tion is allowing the local school teacher and administrator to set 
the standards, and then putting that standard in some State form. 
So again it goes back to what Senator Gregg said, and all of you 
have touched on at one time or another, this bottom-up philosophy 
of allowing the local teacher and the local community to set the 
standard. And that would be my first desire, again, an involvement 
on the local level of the teacher, the community, the school board — 
and more teachers in this kind of activity in the Senate hearings, 
and more teachers involved in writing these bills and putting them 

Senator Kassebaum. I think that would be a good idea. However, 
maybe once teachers got started doing it, they wouldn't like to do 
that part of it, either. 

Ms. Davis, as an administrator, let me ask you how much do you 
value staff development? Are you working with that to a great ex- 
tent in the San Francisco system, a support system for staff? I am 
amazed when I visit ma^et schools, for instance, at the energy 
and the innovation that is required for a good teacher to handle 
that type of classroom situation. Hardly any classroom today is like 
they used to be 40 years ago, and a good teacher today really has 
to have a tremendous amount of energy and innovation. 

Are you focusing very much on staff development and support 

Ms. Davts. It is a priority, because as we develop our class, so 
we improve the quality of education and what happens in class- 
rooms. Teaching is a verv personal act, so it depends on the critical 
interaction between student and teacher. And students teach other 
students as well. We learn in many ways. When I say to you that 
we are a community of learners, that means that we all learn firom 
one another; and when we can foster cooperation in the classroom 
and help teachers to hone in on their skills, to deal with the di- 
verse students, for example, in San Francisco, then we are impact- 
ing positively on the lives of all those children. 

I want to expand my answer a little more about the community 
of learners, because I see that going, as you say, nationally and 
internationally. We have had the ministry of French education in- 
vite educators fi-om California to share what we know. And I would 
say that one role the Federal Government can play is to really pro- 
viae those linkages. When I talk about structural change, our 
teachers are thirsty for knowledge, for interaction with colleagues, 
from Kansas, from Vermont. So to provide linkages where teachers 
can really solve problems together with other teachers best, I 


think, provides the meat for staff development as well. It comes in 
many forms, many fashions, and providing professionals the time, 
the quality to reflect and to be able to interact with each other I 
think is critical for staff development, for staff renewal, and for ef- 
fective teaching. 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you venr much. 

Mr. Kaye, I have another tack I'd like to take with you. You 
spoke about the Protech program and the fact that you had devel- 
oped the skill requirements for that program. 

Mr. Kaye. Yes, ma'. 

Senator Kassebaum. Would you not feel that it works best to 
have those skills developed for, say, Boston, for the particular time 
and place, with the shortage of the nurses and other health provid- 
ers, rather than trying to set skills standards nationally? 

Mr. Kaye. Well, I would say that short-term, that is probably 
what we need to do. But I am always concerned about long-term. 
When we do educational reform, we make this assumption that 
somebody is going to live wherever they are for the rest of their 
lives, and that is not the case. It would be much more effective for 
the health care system in this coimtry if the person who is being 
trained in my high school, going on to my community college, be- 
cause they can't go to my community college, can go to a commu- 
nity college in Los Angeles. And if we can certify to these children 
that if you meet certain standards in Boston, you are able to go 
someplace else, you are not chained to Boston, I think that is the 
first step in opening this up. i . v • 

There are so many good programs out there. I have been in this 
business for 25 years, but what I have done is I have thrown 
money here, and I have thrown money there, and these programs 
prosper for a year or 2 years, and then, poof, they are gone. There 
is nothing out there that is trackable, that is measurable, and that 
keeps growing and growing in size, so what happens is that I, as 
the employer, after these children have been out of school for 10 
or 15 years, either because they have graduated or dropped out, 
they are showing up at my door with a high school degree that 
doesn't show me that they Know anything. Ajnd it is that part that 
I am really concerned about, because then I will spend my money — 
which is really not my mission as a health care institution to be 
educating adults or children — maybe I need to move that back ear- 
lier in the process. Anybody who gets educated in this country ex- 
cept for the intelligentsia gets educated so that they can do a job 
and do a better job. Now, somehow, we have got to get industry in- 
volved in telling the schools, "This is what we need," so that these 
students can become better as adult citizens. Does that answer it? 

Senator Kassebaum. Yes, to a certain extent. I suppose my own 
basic philosophy is to make sure that we take into account some 
of those skill developments that are being developed for a particu- 
lar situation but I certainly can appreciate the fact that you want 
to carry it with you. We are so much more a mobile society today. 

Mr. Kaye. But really, the shortages I talk about— if we are going 
to have a 46 percent vacancy rate in medical technologists, some- 
one is going to have to support a medical technologist. My big con- 
cern is that in one State, you will develop one person who will do 
that, with a certain job description and skills, and then across the 


country, thevll do similar, but not the same thing, and those posi- 
tions won't be interchangeable, and those people will be bound to 
their communities and not be able to take their education and 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you very much. I have certainly ap- 
preciated the excellent testimony. 

Senator Jeffords. 

Senator Jeffords. Thank you. Madam Chair. 

I would like to pursue along this basic line, but first, Mr. Mills, 
you heard a number of the members on my side who are extremely 
concerned about the goals, etc., being so prescriptive that it would 
interfere with the individual initiatives of the States, Vermont al- 
ready being recognized today as one of those that has had a bot- 
tom-up approach to reaching a State plan and State educational 
goals, etc. 

Do you share the concern that the rather prescriptive approach 
taken in this bill would interfere, and if so, how should we correct 
it so that that fear could be diminished? 

Mr. Mills. I think "fear" would be too strong. It is a word of cau- 
tion. I know that the administration has tried very hard to listen 
to the States. I have had many calls, and so have others, and they 
really are trying. 

My word of caution is to make sure that there really is a light 
touch, as I said, in the way these plans work. There is kind of a 
presumption that there should be only one way to put the plan to- 
gether. There is a presumption that a State panel ought to be cre- 
ated and ought to carry on certain kinds of oversight responsibil- 
ities. That really feels like £in intrusion into a State's way of doing 
this. That kind of intrusion might make sense if the States weren't 
moving, but the States in fact are. 

I would have a caution about the kind of regulations that would 
be established later. The Secretary has tried very hard to keep this 
voluntary and keep it illustrative rather than mandatory in most 
of the elements of the plan. But there is a bureaucracy out there 
that deals in a particular way when it sees a Federal plan, and I 
want some indication that the culture and the structure of tnat or- 
ganization is going to change. I know from experience how difficult 
it is to change bureaucracies. It takes years. 

By and large, however — and I have spelled out in my written 
statement some specific suggestions for change — I think this adds 
up to a good idea. I think it would be helpful to a State like Ver- 
mont, and I think it would be helpful because it would put the 
weight of the Federal Grovernment, the national Government, be- 
hind the need for high standards; it would put some venture cap- 
ital behind local schools. One principal said to me, "You know, it 
would be worth my job as a principal to get just $10,000 to do 
something radically different." 

I have seen how much innovation comes from a group of teachers 
and principals and community members with the offer from a State 
legislature of a tiny amount of money — in our case, it was 
$150,000; it blew the doors off the room when we had an oppor- 
tunity to explain to them what that challenge grant was all about. 
So small grants of $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 can start a process 
that will transform a school. And one of the things that is powerful 


about this bill is that it will put some real change money in the 
hands of local people. 

I understand that half the money goes to the States in the initial 
year, and I think one of the things we would probably do is push 
more of that money down locally, not to top off the programs they 
already have, but as a challenge to stand and deliver, to do a very 
different thing and be willing to prove results. 

Senator Jeffords. So would it be better to at least try to State 
what the overall goal is, that is, to allow the Federal Government 
to assist in discovering and defining programs that are successful 
and then to facilitate the sharing of that information and the abil- 
ity of the States to implement those kinds of programs? Is that 
something that we are aiming at and trying to do? 

Mr. Mills. We are certainly looking for that, but the change is 
happening so fast in communities and in schools and in States that 
it is a massive job — it is an impossible job to keep up. We don't 
need what we used to call clearinghouses. It is just happening 
much faster than that. We need real partners. We need a Federal 
Government, we need State governments, we need local commu- 
nities all moving not in lockstep, but in unison, toward a common 
vision of what this country could be if we really sat down to create 
a system where every child could grow to very high skills, with no 
exceptions and no excuses. We haven't got that now. 

Senator Jeffords. What does a world standard or goal mean to 
you as far as a standard of educational excellence? 

Mr. Mills. Well, in mathematics, for example, I think it means 
much more than the ability to deal with or to answer a long series 
of identical long division problems; long division is really impor- 
tant, and we've got to get that. But the world doesn't come up to 
our door in the form of worksheets. We have to have the ability to 
solve problems we have never seen before. We have to be able to 
define the problem. We have to know when to look at an answer 
and say 'That doesn't make sense. I know I got it from the calcula- 
tor, but it doesn't make sense." 

We need people who can use mathematics to describe pattern 
and to deal with probability and chance. 

In other words, we need a much deeper level of skill in mathe- 
matics, in writing, in communication, in problem-solving and so on 
than we have ever thought possible, but we need it for everybody. 
We need it for economic reasons, we need it just so that we can 
carry out full share of the burden as a free people. 

Senator Jeffords. Does that mean to you that our nationwide 
scale, that opportunity to attain that standard, must be available? 
Obviously, we don't mean that every student should be a whiz in 

Mr. Mills. No, of course not. But we do need opportunity-to- 
leam standards to balance with performance standards. I am 
thinking of two schools in my State. I won't name them, but I'll tell 
you later who they are. One school has lots of computer technology, 
is very experimental; they have a part of the building where they 
can test out new ideas, and if they work, they can spread them. 
There is powerful involvement with local businesses. They have 
telephones in teachers' rooms — what an innovation that is — that 


means that they can network with their colleagues all around the 
State, and they do. 

I can think of another school where people are just as caring and 
they try just as hard, but the place is jammed. The building is in 
terrible shape. The special education room looks like the area be- 
hind a door. The guidance is conducted in a room that kind of looks 
like the cellar. 

I have been in both of these schools. The people want the best 
for their children, but they don't have an equal opportunity to 
learn. We have got to make the results we expect really clear, so 
clear that it doesn't take commissioners to explain it, but just any- 
body can say to the commissioner, "This piece of work here isn't up 
to standard. We want high standards around here." We also at the 
same time need to say, "The kid had a real chance." Ill talk to you 
about the library. I'll talk to you about the lab. Fll talk to you 
about the capacity of teachers. I'll show you how the assessment 
is really connected to the standards. It doesn't need to be a lot, but 
it has got to be tied together. 

Senator Jeffords. Now I'd like to shift a little bit, and yet it is 
still relevant. The law demands that we give an appropriate edu- 
cation to students with special needs, and you expressed some con- 
cern about the problems now with special education and filling 
goals in the classroom. I wish you'd give us a little better idea of 
what those concerns are and how you would rectify them. 

Mr. Mills. I think people are reluctant to get into this issue, and 
I am urging all of you to get into it. There are some children who 
are in special education only because there isn't any other way to 
provide the support. If a child like that gets into special education, 
some bad things can tend to happen. Expectations drop. They are 
somehow separate. The paperwork and tne red tape and the proc- 
ess mount. Some of the most gifled teachers I have ever met are 
teachers of special education, but they have come to me and said, 
"You have got to do something about all this paper." Some of it 
comes from the State level, and we are committed to dealing with 

We want to see a Federal partner who is going to link arms with 
us and try to do a better job for these kids. What does it mean, 
practically? It means that a school ought not have to lose the 
money if they figure out a way to educate the child in the regular 
classroom, because that's what the child really needs. There ought 
to be a way for that child to get the extra support that he or she 
needs to stay in the regular classroom without Deing labelled. 

We have done that at the State level through a lot of training. 
It wasn't an awful lot of money; it was only about $360,000 a year 
for training for teachers, regular classroom teachers, to allow them 
to be skilled enough to deal with a wider range of need. We have 
done it through changes in the funding system. Through regula- 
tions, we are going to change the way we count allowable costs so 
that we will in effect pay for a group of professionals in a school 
out of special education money whether they do special education 
work or not. The main thing is what happens to the children. 

I vividly remember when my colleague Dennis Kane came to me 
and said, "We have a 6 percent drop in special education enroll- 
ments." I thought he was there to cheer about that. What he was 


there to do, however, was to say, "Now we need to go out and talk 
to Uiose children and their parents and their teachers to make cer- 
tain that they didn't lose anything." What we in fact found was 
that they gained. 

Senator Jeffords. As one of the authors of 94-142, I take a spe- 
cial oversight interest in these cases, and I know we need to do 
some work there, and I know how sensitive it is to get into that 
area, and I appreciate your comments. i . i. t 

I would appreciate comments on any of these aspects which I 
touched on from other members of the panel. 

Ms. Davis. Senator Jeffords, I'd like to comment a little about 
your concern and protectionism about what this Federal legislation 
might do to States or local control. I was reflecting about how, a 
few years ago — and I am telHng my age, too, about how long I have 
been in the profession — ^how we were afraid of proficiency stand- 
ards, and we thought this was going to squeeze out those students, 
put a label on them, and not let them graduate. We even had some 
lawsuits from advocacy groups around ethnic minority students not 
being able to meet these proficiency standards. 

And now we look back, and that was the floor. What we are real- 
ly looking at is how do we set the standards for the ceiling now so 
that we can really give impetus to every educator, every citizen, to 
expect the most from every child, every human being — ^not just to 
fill the job market, but to be thinking, critical, caring human 
beings, good citizens in this Nation. 

So when you talk about the standards and where they are going 
to go, we are always concerned when we don't know about the un- 
known—the worst thing to fear is fear itself; I don't think FDR 
would like my way of quoting him— but my concern and call to you 
is that the profession is saying this is what we need to do, and we 
need to listen to our professionals. 

The first standards that I can recall that came up from the Na- 
tional Council for Teachers of Mathematics was the first call to say 
what every student should know as far as thinking mathematically 
is concerned. 

So I would say to you listen to your cues, listen to those profes- 
sionals who are saying that we need to reach consensus; we need 
that support to really be the best deliverers of education in our 

Thank you. 

Senator Jeffords. I think there is a confusion between goals and 
standards, and I'm not sure where the distinction is in this bill, but 
it seems to me the goals are what you want to try to reach; a 
standard is more likely to be something that we'd like everyone to 
try to attain as being a potential for them to have an adequate edu- 
cation. I think we have to clarify the difference in those matters. 

Norman. ,, , , i 

Mr. CoNARD. Senator, you mentioned a world school, and cer- 
tainly we are a global community today; 50 years ago, it didn't 
matter to a farmer in Kansas too much what happens around the 
world, but today, because of our international marketplace, it mat- 
ters a great deal, so we are a world community. 

And certainly we should be considering in the classroom this 
world community in every subject, an integrated discipline and an 


integrated curriculum. I am not quite sure that the Federal Gov- 
ernment in legislation in some ways would cause this particular 
classroom situation to be enhanced. 

I do know in Kansas, without legislation concerning bills like 
this, we have in our rural high schools Russian and Japanese; you 
can take an international language in a wide variety of subjects. 
Senator Kennedy was explaining to me before the hearing about a 
school in Boston that hooks up via satellite, and they can go to the 
Galapagos Islands and interview a deep sea diver who is exploring 
by satellite. So there are wonderful options going on, and again, 
maybe I have a similar fear of the Federal Grovemment not listen- 
ing to the local community or the State about what is going on in 
those areas. 

Also, there is so much innovation in the field of education today. 
We read newspaper articles about the math scores of American stu- 
dents compared with Japanese and German students, and we are 
not reading stories about great innovation and creativity among 
our students. 

My students in Uniontown, KS — and I'm sure the panel would 
agree — are much more creative thtm I ever dreamed of being when 
I was in high school. And given the proper resources and the prop- 
er responsibilities and the proper opportunities, they will show that 
creativity. But again, there is some fear about Federal legislation 
somehow stymieing or causing the State or the local community 
that has been successful to be hindered to some degree. 

Senator Jeffords. George. 

Mr. Kaye. I have an ongoing concern about standards versus 
goals, but I come from the city, and I also come via New York City. 
And in listening to all the creativity that's going on in education 
and business, yes, there are wonderful programs out there, but the 
baseline I think is one that I have to look at from an inner-city per- 
son of reality. 

I talked about my current program. We took in 97 children in the 
first year. We are going to graduate 47. The rest fell out for what- 
ever social, economic, or skill problem. The first set of exams that 
hit these juniors, all of mine failed math and science. And my re- 
sponse had to be: Get tutors. Get them in here. And then, of course, 
I had to get the kids to come to meet with the tutors. And then, 
of course, we had to restructure the program so that the tutors 
came on Friday from 12 to 2, and the kids didn't get their pay- 
checks until 2:00 — wonderful attendance every week. 

But it is so basic. It is that basic. It is basic enough that I can 
bring 16 juniors into my facility, and 14 of them had never sat 
down at a computer keyboard, didn't know what it was. 

There are so many students in major cities who are in this hor- 
rible condition who need to have something to strive for by the 
time they are 15 or 16 to be able to say, "This is how I get beyond 
where I'm at now." And that has got to be part of the reform that 
we go through. When you go to Germany, a child at 15 or 16 will 
tell you, "I want to do X, Y, or Z, and then afler I get that skill, 
I'll go on, and I'll become a professor, or I'll go to university." That 
is so missing from our system. I don't want us to lose sight of that 
fact that it is just so basic to the core of many of our inner cities. 


Senator Jeffords. That's an excellent point. I am supposed to be 
at three different lunches right now, and I know you are all getting 
hungry, but I just want to close by saying I think we have also got 
to keep in mind that there is a lot more to education than just pro- 
viding the opportunity. It is the ability to be able to get to the 
inner cities wnere we've got some serious problems with motiva- 
tion; there is no question about that, and we have to deal with 
that. It is going to be very hard to do this. 

I remember visiting with Chinese and Japanese educators, who 
are amazed at the flexibility our system has for our students to be 
able to learn about their community and the world and how to get 
along with each other, whereas they are so restrictive that their 
students come out being afraid to take any risks. So probably there 
is a happy medium somewhere in between, and I wouldn't get too 
excited about our system because we have our own problems. But 
I think we have to be careful that we broaden our perspective on 
what is necessary in education and not try to refocus it all in one 
direction. The inner cities, even though I come from rural Vermont, 
it bothers me tremendously as to what we can do to fill the lives 
of the students all during the day in preschool so that they are in 
a capacity to be able to learn and to come out with some goal, as 
you mentioned, and know where they are going and where they are 
going to live, other than with the street gangs. 

So we have a lot of tough problems, and we want to make sure 
we focus our goals a little more broadly perhaps than just changing 
it because we have an immediate need. 

Thank you. Madam Chair. 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you again very much. It has been a 
most interesting panel, and I appreciate everyone coming to testify. 

That concludes the hearing. 

[Whereupon, at 12:55 p.m., the committee was adjourned.] 


FRIDAY, MAY 14, 1993 

U.S. Senate, 
Committee on Labor and Human Resources, 

Washington, DC. 

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:06 a.m., in room 
SD-430, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Edward M. Ken- 
nedy (chairman of the committee) presiding. 

Present: Senators Kennedy, Simon and Kassebaum. 

Opening Statement of Senator Kennedy 

The Chairman. We'll come to order. 

In the summer of 1990, a commission of distinguished Americans 
issued a report entitled, "America's Choice: High Wages or Low 
Skills," which set out in compelling terms the choice which con- 
fronts us as we prepare to enter the 21st century. If we want to 
increase productivity, restore our ability to compete effectively in 
the global economy, and maintain and improve the standard of liv- 
ing for all Americans, we must substantially increase our invest- 
ment in our most valuable national asset — our people. If we choose 
not to make that investment, the likely consequence is that we will 
continue on a course that means real hardship for the majority of 
working Americans. 

Already, over the past 20 years, we have seen real wages decline 
more than 12 percent while income inequality mounts. As the in- 
comes of the top 30 percent of wage earners have increased, those 
of the other 70 percent have spiralled downward. 

To reverse that trend, it is not enough to have better machinery 
or newer technology, because low wage countries have access to the 
same machines and the same technology. To achieve the level of 
growth required to maintain a high standard of living, we need to 
radically change our approach to the education and training of our 
work force and the way we organize work. 

In their report, distinguished leaders from business, labor, edu- 
cation and Government who sat on the Commission which pro- 
duced the "America's Choice" report issued a sweeping series of rec- 
ommendations for fundamental change in our education and train- 
ing systems. 

Our hearing today is on legislation to implement a key rec- 
ommendation of that report, by creating a new National Skills 
Standards Board to oversee the development of a voluntary na- 


68-544 0-93 


tional system of skill standards for use in the training of our work- 

Public and private training efforts currently suffer from the lack 
of a national consensus as to what kinds of skills workers should 
be acquiring to meet the challenges of a competitive economy. 
There is no system hv which to measure whether particular train- 
ing programs are effective in providing workers with such skills 
and no system to certify that workers nave attained those skills. 

The legislation we are considering to create a National Skills 
Standards Board would create a framework for development of in- 
dustry-based standards for training workers and industries that do 
not currentlv have such a skill development system in place. Once 
developed, those standards could be used by Government agencies 
as a means of ensuring that public training funds are used effec- 
tively. That's an extremely important aspect. We spend close to $14 
billion in various training programs, and the result of this legisla- 
tion will be to give us much greater accountability as to how those 
funds are actually being expended and how effective those pro- 
grams are. 

Workers will also benefit by being able to select training pro- 
grams based on whether they conform with the recognized industry 
training standards. Employers will benefit by being able to assess 
the skill development needs of their workers and improve their re- 
turn on training investments. Moreover, the U.S. will be joining the 
ranks of other modern industrial societies which have made uni- 
form national skill standards the centerpiece of their training sys- 

Several of the witnesses we have with us today are individuals 
who have had direct first-hand experience with what skill stand- 
ards can do to raise the skill levels of the work force and improve 
our ability to compete, and I look forward to hearing from them 
and working with my colleagues on the committee to enact this im- 
portant legislation. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Kennedy follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Kennedy 

In the summer of 1990, a commission of distinguished Americans 
issued a report entitled America's Choice: High Wages or Low 
Skills which set out in compelling terms the choice which confronts 
us as we prepare to enter tne 21st Century. If we want to increase 
productivity, restore our ability to compete effectively in the global 
economy, and maintain and improve the standard of living tor all 
Americans, we must substantially increase our investment in our 
most valuable national asset — our people. If we refuse to make that 
investment, we will continue on a course that means real hardship 
for the majority of working Americans. 

Over the past 20 years, we have seen real wages decline more 
than 12% while income inequality rises. The incomes of the top 30 
percent of wage earners have increased, but those of the other 70 
percent have declined. 

To reverse that trend, it is not enough to have better machinery 
or newer technology. Low wage coimtries have access to the same 
machines and the same technology. To achieve the level of growth 
required to maintain a high standard of living, we need to change 


our approach to the education and training of our work force and 
the way we organize work. 

In their report, leaders from business, labor, education and gov- 
ernment on the Commission which produced the "America's Choice" 
report issued a sweeping series of recommendations for fundamen- 
tal changes in our education and training systems. 

Our hearing today is on legislation to implement a key rec- 
ommendation of that report, bv creating a National Skills Stand- 
ards Board to oversee the development of a voluntary national sys- 
tem of skill standards for training workers. 

Public and private training efforts currently suffer from the lack 
of a national consensus as to what kinds of skills workers should 
be acquiring to meet the challenges of a competitive economy. 
There is no system to measure whether particular training pro- 
grams are effective in providing workers with adequate skills, or to 
certify that workers have attained those skills. 

Instead, we have a highly fragmented system of public and pri- 
vate training that is not teaching workers skills that are relevant 
to many existing or future job opportunities. Under the Job Train- 
ing Partnership Act, every community has its own Private Industry 
Council, which contracts with providers to offer training in various 
different skills, but with no uniformity in the content or quality of 
the programs. 

Workers in our area might be referred, for example, to a program 
in computer operator training. Because there are no recognized 
standards for training in that field, the workers in the program 
have no way of knowing whether the skills they will be taught are 
skills that are valued by employers, or whether the program is ef- 
fective in providing those skills. 

Similarly, when workers complete training go for job interviews, 
their prospective employer has no way of knowing what kind of 
training they received, and whether the training is relevant to 
skills the employer needs. The workers have no credential to as- 
sure the employer that they have acquired particular skills. 

Moreover, the officials responsible for overseeing the expenditure 
of public funds for worker training have no reliable way of measur- 
ing whether the money spent in putting workers through training 
programs is spent well. 

Perhaps the best — and one of the only — models we have in this 
country for a more effective training is the building trades appren- 
ticeship system used in the unionized construction industry. One of 
the key elements of that system is uniform training standards de- 
veloped jointly by employers and unions in the relevant industry. 
These standards allow local variation, but set basic criteria for 
skills that apprentices are expected to acquire at each stage of 
their training in order to achieve certification at the end of their 
program as fully qualified crafl workers. 

The advantage of such standards for apprentices entering the 
program is that they know they will be taught a full range of skills 
relevant to the industry and valuable to employers, and that at the 
end of the program they will receive a certification that is meaning- 
ful not just to one employer but to employers throughout the indus- 
try, across the country. In other words, apprenticed are getting 
portable, credentialed skills. 


Employers are willing to pay for training provided through this 
program, and to hire workers who have completed the program, be- 
cause they have confidence in the credential and know that the 
skills have been taught and acquired and are relevant to their 

The legislation we are considering to establish a National Skills 
Standards Board would create a framework for the development of 
industry-based standards for training workers in industries that do 
not currently have such a skill development system. 

Once developed, these standards can be used by government 
agencies as a means of ensuring that public training funds are 
used effectively. 

Workers will benefit by being able to select training programs 
based on whether they conform with recognized industry stand- 

And employers will benefit by being better able to assess the skill 
development needs of their workers and improve their return on 
training investments. 

Moreover, the U.S. would be joining the ranks of other modern 
industrialized countries which have made uniform national skills 
standards the centerpiece of their training systems. 

Several of the witnesses we have with us today are individuals 
who have had direct, first-hand experience in what skill standards 
can do to raise the skill levels of the work force and improve our 
ability to compete. I look forward to hearing from them, and to 
working with my colleagues on the committee to promptly enact 
this important legislation. 

The Chairman. Our first panel is composed of leaders of indus- 
try, education and labor who have had experience in the develop- 
ment and utilization of skill standards. 

Marc Tucker is president of the National Center on Education 
and the Economy. The Center is responsible for creating the Com- 
mission on the Skills of the American Workforce, which produced 
the well-researched and highly regarded report, "America's Choice: 
High Skills or Low Wages," that inspired the current legislation. 
Mr. Tucker was himself a member of that commission. We thank 
him for his contribution in this area and appreciate his continued 
willingness to assist us in the process of developing legislation to 
address skill standards and workplace organization. 

We also welcome again Harry Featherstone, who testified before 
this committee last year on the High Skills, Competitive Work 
Force bill. Mr. Featherstone is chairman and CEO of the Will-Burt 
Co. in Orville, OH, and is here representing the National Associa- 
tion of Manufacturers. We are happy to learn more about the man- 
ufacturers' views on the development of skill standards. 

And we welcome an old and dear friend of mine and this commit- 
tee's, John Sweeney, the labor representative on the panel, who is 
president of the Service Employees International Union. Mr. 
Sweeney has vast experience representing workers in the health 
care and other service industries. SEIU is now engaged in a num- 
ber of projects implementing skill standards, and we imderstand 
that those programs have been rewarding to SEIU members and 
their employers. 


Before we begin I have statements from Senators Thurmond and 
Durenberger to be inserted in the record. 

[The prepared statements of Senators Thurmond and Duren- 
berger follow:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator Thurmond 

Mr. Chairman, it is a pleasure to be here this morning to hear 
testimony on Title IV of S. 846, the "Gk)als 2000: Educate America 
Act." I would like to join my colleagues in welcoming our witnesses 
here today. 

Title IV will establish a National Skill Standards Board for the 
development and adoption of national industry-recognized skill 
standards. I am supportive of the development of voluntary na- 
tional skill standards in this country. However, I have some con- 
cerns surrounding title IV. 

Mr. Chairman, I am concerned with the inclusion of this title in 
the education reform package. I understand that the Secretary of 
Education and the Secretary of Labor are working together on this 
issue. However, I believe that voluntary national industry-recog- 
nized skill standards would be more appropriately considered with 
upcoming comprehensive work force preparation legislation. 

I am also concerned that this legislation will result in too much 
Federal intrusion into the development of industry recognized 
standards. The current approach taken by both the Department of 
Education and the Department of Labor facilitates the creation of 
industry, labor and education partnerships for the development 
and promotion of skill standards through developmental grants. I 
believe this approach allows business and industry to lead in the 
development of standards they feel are best for their workplaces. 

This bill allows the National Skill Standards Board to determine 
what is appropriate for an industry or occupation. It would appear 
from the language of this legislation that all industries, except for 
the construction industry, will have standards developed for them 
under this legislation, even those with existing skill standards. 

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I believe attention must be given to the 
fact that section 403(b) of the bill appears to revisit the issue sur- 
rounding the Civil Rights Act of 1991 concerning "disparate im- 
pact" of job qualification standards. The provisions contained in 
section 403(b) appear to be directed at eliminating the use of any 
standards which would have a disparate impact on the protected 
classifications specified. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 addressed 
this issue by providing that job standards which have a disparate 
impact are proper so long as such standards are "job related for the 
position in question and consistent with business necessity." I be- 
lieve that this is a fair and well balanced provision. 

Mr. Chairman, we all want to increase productivity, economic 
growth, and American economic competitiveness and I look forward 
to working with you on this issue. 

Again, I would like to welcome our witnesses here today and I 
look forward to reviewing their testimony. 


Prepared Statement of Senator Durenberger 

Mr. Chairman, I first would like to commend President Clinton 
for his long-time commitment to education reform, and for attempt- 
ing to tackle this important issue with his "Goals 2000 — Educate 
America Act." I also would like to congratulate you for your leader- 
ship in the area of national education reform. 

Mr. Chairman, this bill represents a bold and constructive step 
forward in recognizing the inextricable relationship between edu- 
cation, job skills, and workplace training. Secretary Reich and Sec- 
retary Riley's collaboration in this area is testimony to the adminis- 
tration's commitment to preparing this Nation's young people for 
the workplace challenges they certainly will encounter as we enter 
the New American Century. 

Since the President introduced his reform package last month, I 
have had the opportunity to study both the education section and 
the occupational skills standard proposals contained in the bill. 

As for the substance, I am very pleased to see the administra- 
tion's strong interest in systemic reform, its willingness to allow 
State education improvement funds to be used to support public 
school choice and charter schools, and its openness to using waivers 
to offer States, districts, and individual schools new ways to be 
held accountable for measurable educational outcomes. 

I already have made several suggestions to the administration 
for improvements in these areas. Following this hearing, I am cer- 
tain that I also will have additional suggestions on the skills stand- 
ards portion of the bill. And, I pledge to continue to work with my 
colleagues on this committee — ^both Republicans and Democrats — 
to implement those suggestions as this debate goes forward. 

In general, I support the concept of national industry-recognized 
skill standards. However, I do have several questions and concerns 
about the occupational skill standards set forth in Title IV of this 

For example: 

• What impact will these broad national skill standards have 
on children in communities in Minnesota and across the coun- 

• Will these standards contribute measurably to improving 
educational and occupational opportunities for our Nation's 
young people? 

• How will we ensure that these standards are kept current, 
so that young people are prepared for the workplace challenges 
which lie ahead, instead of behind us? 

• How do these standards differ from those already set in 
place by various trade groups and unions and in various occu- 

• Does the Standards Board provide appropriate opportimities 
for input from groups that traditionally have been 
underrepresentated in our national education debate? 

• Does the standard-setting procedure set forth in this bill pro- 
vide adequate opportunity for American businesses to help de- 
velop outcome-based occupational standards? 


• How will setting and implementing occupational skill stand- 
ards affect America's ability to compete in the global market- 

• How will these standards help companies to make better-in- 
formed employment decisions? 

• Finally, what is the proper role for the Federal Government 
in developing and implementing national skills standards. 

I look forward to today's hearing with great anticipation. I be- 
lieve that it will begin to provide answers to some of the questions 
I have outlined and give the members of this committee the much- 
needed opportunity to hear various perspectives regarding the ap- 
propriate Federal role in developing and implementing occupa- 
tional skill standards. 

Following today's hearing, I also intend to solicit input from Min- 
nesota businesses, labor leaders, educators, and government offi- 
cials. As they are the ones involved on the front lines of America's 
education reform battle, their contributions to this debate will be 

Mr. Chairman, let me now briefly set forth several general "prin- 
ciples for a Federal role in State-based education reform" that will 
guide my approach to the debate on the education reform issue 
generally and the development of occupational skill standards in 

First, education is and should remain primarily a State and local 
government responsibility. State governments — and their chief ex- 
ecutives — should be looked to as the primary designers and imple- 
menters of education reform. 

Second, we must remember that the Federal Government's tradi- 
tional role in education has been to promote equal access regard- 
less of income and other factors, and to improve the ability of 
States and local school districts to assist students who need spe- 
cialized education services, especially those students with physical 
and other disabilities. That historic role should be preserved, and 
within obvious fiscal limitations, enhanced. 

Third, the Federal Government's role in setting and monitoring 
standards should be specific enough to allow real measuring of suc- 
cess and failure, but flexible enough so that it does not impede 
States and local communities that are in a much better position to 
determine precisely how goals and standards should be met. 

Fourth, Federal standards also should not replace community, in- 
dustry, business, classroom, labor union, and individual student- 
level efforts to define, measure, and monitor progress toward 
achieving improved education and skill outcomes. 

Fifth, whenever possible, standards and other new forms of ac- 
coimtability should be used to monitor and measure achievement 
of objectives based on outcomes — rather than compliance with 
input-oriented rules and regulations. 

Sixth, within such new forms of accountability, parents should be 
given the opportunity to choose schools and programs that best 
meet the needs of their children. Accurate and useful information 
on available educational choices must be readily accessible to par- 
ents, along with assistance in using that information to help make 
informed choices. 


Finally, Federal education policies should encourage the avail- 
sbility of new and more diverse school choices, including the estab- 
lishment of new, innovative public schools like charter schools and 
magnet schools. However, the precise design of school choice pro- 
grams and conditions under which new schools may be established 
and sustained should remain a State government responsibility. 

Mr. Chairman, these principles are not all-inclusive. Neither are 
they relevant to every aspect of President Clinton's reform initia- 

I do hope, however, that these principles will help guide us in a 
constructive, bipartisan effort to produce the best education reform 
legislation possible. That certainly is my objective. And I hope that 
all of us bring the same constructive spirit to this debate. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Mr. Tucker, we'll start with you. Thank you very 
much for being here. 


Mr. Tucker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. As you remember, we had hearings here a num- 
ber of months ago, on the introduction of the High Skills, Competi- 
tive Workforce Act in the last Congress, and we were fortunate at 
that time to have Ira Magaziner at that table speaking, and Mrs. 
Clinton as well, which helped make that an enormouslv interesting 
hearing. The High Skills bill, as vou know was based on the rec- 
ommendations contained in the America's Choice report, and in- 
cluded a proposal for creation of a national board to develop a vol- 
untary national system of skill standards. We are bringing that 
f>roposal forward in this bill, and hopefully, we will be able to move 
egislation incorporating that recommendation. So we appreciate 
your presence here. 

Mr. Tucker. Both of the people that you just mentioned were 
members of my board of trustees. It seems we are building a fairly 
distinguished alumni association. 

The Chairman. A pretty good group. 

Mr. Tucker. Yes. I really appreciate the opportunity to testify 
this morning, and I would like to thank you very much for your 
leadership with respect to bringfing "America's Choice" and its mes- 
sage in front of the American people. 

I would, with your permission, like to enter into the record my 
prepared testimony and this document, "A Human Resources De- 
velopment Plan for the United States," which lays out what we 
think the Federal agenda ought to be, broadly, to implement the 
recommendations made in "America's Choice." 

In 1986, I was involved in producing a report which began with 
a story, the purpose of which was to capture as much as we could 
in one story the challenge facing the United States. We described 
the Samsung electronics plant located just outside Seoul, Korea, 


which is making home video recorders for sale in the United 
States. The people in that plant worked 361 days a vear, 12 hours 
a day, and worked for $3,000 a year. We don't make home video 
recorders in the United States because we cannot compete with 
plants like that located in other parts of the world. 

About 3 weeks ago, there appeared in the New York Times sm- 
other story. It was the story of a South Korean business leader 
who, as executive of his firm, had discovered that he could relocate 
production from his plants in South Korea to plants located across 
a small sea in China to a province there that was close by, and 
thereby ^eatly reduce his costs without, he found, compromising 
the quality of production at all. South Korean wage rates at the 
time we released our report were one-tenth of what ours are here 
in the United States. What the South Korean businessman discov- 
ered was that he could produce his product at one-tenth of South 
Korean rates in China, or one one-hundredth of labor rates here in 
the United States. 

That is the challenge that we face. As you pointed out, Mr. 
Chairman, in "America s Choice," we said this country faces a very 
simple choice. It is between high skills or low wages. Exactly how 
high do those skills have to be? VvThat is truly jarring is that the 
first international assessment of educational progress shows that 
the skills of those South Korean kids are in fact higher than the 
skills of the average American kids in science and mathematics. 

We have a terribly long way to go to come anywhere close to 
hanging onto our standard of living. 

That same report, "America's Choice," basically laid out the 
terms on which we could survive in this country economically. And 
it said, in simple terms, those countries that maintain high wage 
rates are those that will change their work organization to give the * 
people on the front line of the American labor force duties and re- 
sponsibilities very similar to those that we now ^ve only to man- 
agers and to professionals. It is a great prescription. It is working 
very well for our chief competitors. The only trouble is that it re- 
quires a work force at the front-hne level which is nearly as skilled 
as those entering the ranks of management and the professions. 

How do we do that? The Commission on the Skills of the Amer- 
ican Work Force, as you pointed out, found that wherever we found 
high skills, we found high standards; it was as simple as that. 
Now, the question is how we frame those standards. As you look 
around the world right now, what you find are two, in my view, 
essential points. One is that those countries that are doing best 
with respect to productivity growth rates and real wages are ex- 
pecting of their elementarj^ and secondary school kids nearly the 
same level of academic achievement as they are expecting of those 
who go on to 4-year colleges, the professions, and management — 
something which we are not yet close to in this country. 

Title II of the bill that you are considering addresses that issue. 

The second point that we have found out is that in the advanced 
industrialized countries of the West, there is not one that has a 
highly skilled front-line work force that does not have technical 
skill standards which stand on top of the high school skills stand- 
ards. What is happening in those countries is fascinating. They are 
working toward skill standards which are not focused on individual 


jobs; they are typically not focused on individual industries; they 
are focused on clusters of industries, because what they are finding 
out is that in a dynamic economy that is pushed very fast by rap- 
idly changing technology, you don't want to get frozen into jobs 
that aren't going to last very long. That is bad for the people, it 
is bad for the workers, and it is bad for the industries; it makes 
you rigid where you must be flexible. 

The other interesting thing that I think is capturing the imagina- 
tion of countries that have much more experience with skill stand- 
ards than we is that what they are working toward is a set of skill 
standards which are not just for kids, not just for dislocated work- 
ers, not just for people who want to improve themselves, not just 
for the down and out, but for everybody — ^the same set of standards 
for everybody. That is the way, in effect, that these countries are 
building integrated labor markets, integrated training systems, a 
set of standards which is flexible and which will drive toward high 

The Chairman. How do you foresee being able to develop stand- 
ards so that they are both flexible in terms of the new technologies, 
and yet effective enough to really be able to measure whether the 
participants are developing skills which comport with the objec- 

Mr. Tucker. I think that is actually a central issue that is going 
to face this board once it is constructed. My own view is that what 
we need in this country, to answer your questions, is a three-tier 
system of standards. The first tier is essentially the high school 
level, which is what everybody should know, whatever direction 
they are going in. The second tier is a tier of standards which I 
would hope this national board would put out 

The Chairman. If I can — and I'd ask Senator Kassebaum to 
enter the discussion at any time — let me ask, how does that relate 
to — ^have you had a chance to look at our Education Goals 2000 and 
what we are trying to do there? 

Mr. Tucker. Oh, yes. 

The Chairman. Do the education goals and the skill standards 
essentially fit, number one? 

Mr. Tucker. Yes, they fit, absolutely. In my view, it is the job 
of the Goals 2000 council to develop the set of education standards. 

The Chairman. OK 

Mr. Tucker. The second set of standards would be the standards 
that this panel, that is, the National Skills Standards Board, would 
be responsible for developing. Now, in my view, they should de- 
velop not more than 20 standards. If you do that, they will have 
to be for clusters not only of jobs, but really, of occupations, be- 
cause we have many more occupations, even many more industries, 
than 20. Now, why would you want to do that? 

If you look at Japan, Japan doesn't have any skill standards, and 
yet they have very high skill levels. How did they get there? They 
got there because a third of their employment is driven by the 
large, lifetime employment firms. Those firms, when they are look- 
ing for people to come in at the bottom, are looking for people with 
one qualification — a demonstrated capacity to learn and a dem- 
onstrated willingness to do what they have to do to learn every- 
thing that is required. They don't have skill standards in Japan be- 


cause once you go to work for that firm, you spend most of the rest 
of your life there. 

All over Western Europe, they have skill standards. The reason 
they have skill standards is because you don't have lifetime em- 
ployment and because you want to provide an opportunity for peo- 
ple to move from one occupation, from one firm, and from one in- 
dustry to another. Clearly, we are like Western Europe. We don't 
want to be like Japan, where you are essentially working for one 
firm all your life. 

What the Europeans are finding is that, as I was sajdng a mo- 
ment ago. they are constantly pressing to widen the classification. 
When 1 aescnbed this three-tier system of standards to the head 
of the Federal Republic of Germany's vocational education system, 
he said, "It is exactly where we are going. Twenty would be just 
about right." If you look at what the Ainencan Electronics Associa- 
tion is doing now in developing their pilot standards, they are de- 
veloping only three for the entire electronics industry, which is in 
fact not one industry, as you know, but many. And those classifica- 
tions are one whole classification for clerical workers; one whole 
classification for people that they call "pre and post sales," or what 
IBM calls "customer engineers," and then one classification for 
what we would think of as electronics technicians, covering a vast 
variety of jobs. 

Now, if we went with a system like that, we could have not more 
than 20 standards which covered all of the services in manufactur- 
ing in the United States. Now, you say, that's great, but what do 
you do if you want to train as a laser systems operator. There is 
no classification for a laser systems operator. It must be one of 
these many things that is encompassed by one of these three classi- 
fications tnat the AEA is building. And what the AEA is saying is 
we will take care of that; when that person comes to our firm, we 
will train them to do that — or we may have a small piece of the 
electronics folks carve out a standard for laser systems operators 
which some of our firms may want to use. That's what I meant by 
a three-tier system. 

So the way you get your flexibility is you have these very broad 
classifications above high school. Anybody who wants to can build 
a narrower classification on top of that. Government does not get 
involved in it. Government does not need to be involved in it. Tne 
Government's role here, it seems to me, is getting the parties to the 
table to build this very high foundation of skills. That's the distinc- 

There is one more point I'd like to make, and it has to do with 
a very sensitive set of issues around the impact of standards on mi- 
nority groups and poor people, which I think is among the most im- 
portant issues that this committee, and ultimately, the skill stand- 
ards board and the country, will have to deal with. 

There are two points I want to make. One is that it is essential — 
and I believe this has all been worked out — that it be clear to ev- 
erybody concerned that this legislation not in any way compromise 
what has been gained through the civil rights legislation tnat has 
already been passed in the employment area. 'Title VII and the 
Griggs decision essentially define an approach in this arena which 
ought not to be compromised by this bill in any way. 


There is another point to be made here. I think a lot of people 
view skill standards as simply a threat to the interests of minority 
and poor people. That is not my view at all. I had a conversation 
last night with Ray Marshall, former Secretary of Labor in the 
Carter administration, who, when I raised that question, told me 
a story. He said that at the end of the 1950's and the beginning 
of the 1960's, just not quite 2 percent of all the apprentices in the 
United States in the building trades were minorities. There were 
exactly five black electricians, and they were all at the TVA. In the 
mid-1960's — ^by regulation in that case, not by law — the Govern- 
ment, working with the trades, made the rules that apply to ap- 
prenticeship and the standards explicit, codified, created the reg- 
istered apprenticeship system as we know it now. 

The result now, years later, is that some 25 percent of the ap- 
prentices are minority, nonwhite, which is greater than their pro- 
portion in the population as a whole. Now, there were two keys to 
this. One was that the standards were made explicit, so you knew 
exactly what it was you had to shoot for. The rules by which you 
become an apprentice were made explicit, and that was now clear, 
and the Government then set out — and others, in private arenas — 
to create what Ray called outreach programs, which were explicitly 
designed to prepare people of minority backgrounds to meet these 

I think these are really essential sine qua non of how we need 
to proceed. One, we have to make sure that the current civil rights 
standards are not compromised. Two, we need to make sure that 
the skill standards we are talking about are in place and clear. And 
three, we have to create opportunities for people with minority 
backgrounds and who come from impoverished backgrounds to 
meet those. If we can do that, we can get where we need to go. 

Thanks very much. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Tucker follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Marc Tucker 

Thank you, Senator Kennedy, and the members of the committee, for the invita- 
tion to speak with you today. I am Marc Tucker, president of the National Center 
on Education and the Economy. Four years ago, the Center created the Commission 
on the Skills of the American Workforce, whose report, Americas Choice: high skills 
or low wages!, inspired the legislative proposals that are the subject of today's hear- 
ing. I served as a member of that Conunission and helped to draft the report. Fol- 
lowing release of that report. Senator Kennedy joined with Senator Hatfield, Con- 
gressman Gephardt and Congressman Regula in introducing companion bills in the 
Senate and House designed to provide a legislative framework for making the rec- 
ommendations contained in Americas Choice the law of the land. Since then, those 
bills have framed the national debate on Federal policy on work force skills and 
served as a focal point for a developing consensus among the actors who must be 

Three years ago, when the Commission's report was released, Hillary Clinton was 
a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Center, and I asked her if she 
would lead the effort to implement the Commission's recommendations, to which she 
agreed. Her husband, then Governor of Arkansas, was deeply involved in school re- 
structuring and work force skills issues, both in the State and in his leadership role 
in the National Governors' Association. So it is hardly surprising that President 
Clinton's educational reform biU includes a proposal that was a hinge point of the 
Commission's report and of the High Skills, Competitive Workforce Act of 1992 — 
to create a board that would set voluntary professional and technical standards for 
a wide range of jobs not requiring a baccalaureate degree. 



But why do we need technical and professional skill standards at all? In answer- 
ing this question, it is helpful to ima^e a dimension line at one end of which are 
the Japanese and the other end of which are the Germans. 

Consider the Japanese. One third of emplo3nment in Japan — ^by far the most desir- 
able third — is in the large, lifetime-employment firms. These firms regard entry 
level labor as they do any other valuable input, and they contract for it with reliable 
suppliers, with whom they work very closely, as they would for anything else. In 
this case, the suppliers are 'contract high schools.' Each plant has relationships with 
a few high schools from whom they recruit every year. 

In the spring of the year, they ask the principal to recommend a certain number 
of students for employment. The principal nas a strong incentive to recommend only 
very highly qualified students, because entry into Japanese high schools is competi- 
tive, and if it got out that a firm like Toyota had dropped her hig^ school as a 
source of entry level labor, the principal of that school would be in deep trouble. 
What the principal takes into account as she makes her recommendations are the 
courses taken, tne grades received, the recommendations of the teachers and the 
scores on examinations. 

Now take the Germans. If a secondary school student in Germany wants to go 
to work for Daimler-Benz and build Mercedes automobiles, she must first be offered 
an apprenticeship contract at Daimler. What will Daimler take into account in de- 
ciding who gets offered a contract? The answer is the courses taken, the grades re- 
ceived, the recommendations of the teachers and principal and scores on examina- 

Let's take a look at what is going on here. First, both systems provide very strong 
incentives for achievement in school and in postsecondary education and training 
that are wholly lacking in the United States for students who do not expect to go 
to a selective college. Though there are clear differences in these two systems — 
which we will get to in a moment — the point on which they converge is sending the 
strong signals to students who do not plan to get a baccalaureate degree that it pays 
to meet lugh academic standards in scnool. 


The large, lifetime employers in Japan are like a family. They expect people on 
the front une to do whatever is necessary to make the finn successml. Tnat prob- 
ably means many very different occupations during a lifetime of work. Because that 
is so, the firm is not particularly interested in the occupational skUls of the people 
they hire. What they care about — and the only thing tney care about — is capacity 
and appetite for continued learning. This quality they call "general intelligence." 
Unlike us, they believe that the most important component oi general intelligence 
is effort, and the least important is inherited aptituoe. What tney want from the 
principal is the names of those students with stafl recommendations and scores indi- 
cating they have the highest capacity for continuous learning. 

Once these Japanese firms hire an entry level worker for the front line, they will 
provide all the occupational education that is necessary. When we visited Toyota in 
1989, we were told that the firm was planning to give every new hire for the assem- 
bly line two full years of full-time instruction in digital electronics and mechatronics 
before putting them to work. These workers will have the skills of what we here 
in the United States would think of as junior engineers. 

The Japanese do not have universal, formal skill standards, because they do not 
need them. Because the worker stays in the firm for all or most of his working days, 
and because the firm knows what its own standards are, there is no reason to have 
standards that extend beyond any given employer. 

The situation in Germany is utterly different. In Japan, if you ask a worker what 
she does for a living, she mi^t say she works at Toyota. But, if you ask the same 
question of a woricer in Germany, he is likely to say he is a machinist. Grermans 
identify very strongly with their skill, trade or occupation, which they are likely to 
pursue for their whole working life. Under German law, one cannot open a business 
in a trade or craft that is not licensed and unless one is a certified master in that 
trade or craft. One can only become a master aft^r having first apprenticed in that 
trade and served as a journeyman. To proceed from apprentice to journeyman, and 
then from journeyman to master, one must pass written and practical examinations 
to receive the necessary certificate, the criteria for which are the same throughout 
the nation. It can take as long as 10 years to change these criteria for any given 

trade or craft. 

The advantage of the Japanese system is substantial. It is veiy much better 
adapted to a world in which technologies and consumer tastes are changing ever 


more swiftly. When workers identiiy with their firm and are willing to develop new 
skills and change their occupations whenever that is necessary to keep the firm 
competitive, both firm and worker are likely to be constantly on the leading edge 
of change. A nation that, fix)m the education and skills point of view, puts the great- 
est priority on capacity and willingness to learn is the one that is most likely to 
succeed in a world that will favor organizations that are constantly learning. 

So why not adopt Uie Japanese system? Because the lack of skill standards in 
the Japanese system works only because employees in the big firms are there for 
life. That would not woric in the United States. Our society is among the most mo- 
bile in the world. , , ^ . . , ., ■ x- t 

The need for standards that go beyond the firm arises in mobile societies, in 
Japan, people work hard at learning because the most desirable employers provide 
substantial rewards for that behavior. In a mobile society, individuals are less Ukely 
to invest heavily in skill development unless they are sure that the skills they de- 
velop will be honored by many employers— ideally, all the employers in the Nation 
that require that set of skills. 


Issues of incentives are at the heart of this argument. As matters stand now, only 
the selective colleges require more than a high school diploma. So the vast majority 
of high school students, including almost everyone who will go into the front line 
work force, have no incentive to do any more than the minimum necessary to get 
the diploma, which is very little at all. And then young people and adult workers 
have no great incentive to invest heavily in continued skill development, because 
they have no way of knowing whether the training they are investing in is what 
a fiiture employer will be wiUing to pay for. All of this is in sharp contrast to our 
competitors, who provide very tangible rewards to young people who work hard in 
school, and who are able to assure people of all ages that when they invest in their 
further skill development, that investment will pay off, because the training they 
have invested in is valued by the employers they want to go to woik for. 

These incentive systems turn on standards. Clear standards make it clear what 
competencies will be valued and therefore what one must learn how to do. Clear 
standards provide a reliable way for employers to recognize accomplishment, which 
makes it possible for them to reward it. 


So the question now is, how can the United States get as much of the benefit of 
the Japanese system as possible while still adopting some form of formal, universal 
skill standards? The answer, in our view, is a three-tiered system of standards. The 
first tier will be provided by the National Education Standards and Improvement 
Council. The Council is meant to develop the kind of standard that is represented 
by the Japanese expectation for graduating secondary school students — a universal 
expectation of high academic mastery, combined with a demonstrated capacity to 
learn. I hope it adds to that a demonstrated capacity to apply what one has learned 
to complex, real-world problems. 

The second tier would consist of a system of professional and technical certificate 
standards that would cover a very broad range of manufacturing and service occupa- 
tions not requiring a baccalaureate degree. It would serve, among other things, as 
the linchpin of a first-class school-to-work transition system. 

Assume for the moment that students who have met the standards established 
by the National Council are entitled to decide for themselves whether they wish to 
go directly into the work force, enroll in a college-preparatory program ('college' here 
meaning a baccalaureate degree program) or enroU in a pro^m of technical train- 
ing and further education leading to a college degree or certificate below the bacca- 
laureate degree. r • i 

Many, perhaps most, will choose to enter programs leading to these professional 
and technical certificates and degrees. These programs would be 2 to 3 years in 
length. They would consist of part academics offered by an educational institution 
and part structured training, offered by an employer. The requirements for getting 
these certificates and degrees would be spelled out mainly by national groups of em- 
ployers, so that students who completed such a program would find that the certifi- 
cate they received was honored from coast to coast when they were looking for a 
job. But all of these professional and technical certificate and degree programs 
would be so designed that the student who completed one was part way down the 
road to a baccalaureate degree; there would be no dead ends in this program. 

I believe there should be no more than 20 professional and technical degree and 
certificate programs, each one designed to provide the skills to perform at the entry 


level at a high level of competence, for a whole cluster of related occupations. One 
would certify, for example, the field of precision manufacturing, not numerically con- 
trolled miUing machine operator. . ■> • ^ 

Many employers, perhaps most, would require only a professional and technical 
certificate to qutdify for an entry level job in the firm. But others might require a 
modest amount of additional training to qualify the candidate for a particular occu- 
pation in the firm, tailored to the firm's own requirements. In some cases, tiiat 
might be because of the technical requirements of the particular job or occupation. 
In others, it might have to do with the recjuirements of a particular piece of machin- 
ery. In still others, it might have to do with an employers need to provide training 
in the particular way that firm does business and with the values of that employer. 

It is this additional training for specialities and for employer values that would 
constitute the third tier of standards. In some cases, these standards mi^t be truly 
national, as when they are adopted by an employer's group, a labor union, or a pro- 
fessional or technical association. In others, they might be adopted only by one firm 
(Japanese-style) or by a group of firms related by supplier relationships. 

A skill certification system of this sort will make it possible for young people to 
prepare themselves for a wide range of occupations at a high level of entry level 
competence, give them the skill base required to move with a minimum of retraining 
among a wicfe variety of related occupations, and assure them that the efibrt they 
put into this training will pay ofT because the certificates will be portable across the 
whole Nation and the criteria will be embraced by the employers themselves. It has 
much of the flexibility of the Japanese system while still retaining the worker mobil- 
ity advantages of the German system. 


Standard systems are like telephone systems. A telephone company that has only 
four customers can offer far less to its customers than one that can offer connections 
to 40 million customers. I have spoken so far as if the purpose of the professional 
and technical standards system was solely to guide the development of professional 
and technical skills among young people just entering the wore force. But the true 
power of such a system lies in its potential for tying together into one system what 
are now many disparate and often nonfunctional systems. The same standards that 
are used to guide the initial skill development of young people can be used to guide 
the skill development of full-time homemakers returmng to the work force, dis- 
located workers seeking another career with high potential, disadvantaged workers 
who have mastered the basic skills but want the technical skills required to make 
a good living— in fact, anyone of any age, sex or race who wants to get ahead. If 
we had one set of standards to do all this, it would be worth while for many edu- 
cation and training organizations to develop the program capacity needed to bring 
lots of people up to these standards. Right now, poor people who participate in Fed- 
eral job training programs are stigmatized and have a hard time getting a good job. 
But if these people met a performance standard that everyone else is expected to 
meet, then it would not matter where they had received their training, but only that 
they had met a clear standard that was recognized by employers everywhere. This 
could make a very big difference for the people enrolled in government-funded job 
training programs. 


Once these standards are in place, and organizations and institutions new and old 
start coming up with programs for people who want to reach them, then something 
else becomes possible — the development of modes of government funding for training 
that are based on results rather than inputs — How many of the people who entered 
the program actually reached the standards? How long did it take them? How much 
did it cost? With common training standards in place, it becomes possible to have 
common measures, and common measures make it possible to establish public poli- 
cies that will reward service providers who actually produce for their clients. 

But the idea of having a national board for skill standards is not without con- 
troversy, liie administration's proposal has raised some important questions. I 
would like to mention a few and quickly summarize my views on those issues. 

The bill provides great latitude to the Board in organizing the standard-setting 
process. K everyone is in agreement that standard-setting should be industry-based, 
shouldn't the legislation require the Board to establish industry-based committees 
that will in turn develop the standards for their industries? 

Some people have urged that the legislation be changed to specifically require the 
Board to establish industry committees. I do not think that is wise, and 1 will ex- 
plain why. There is, of course, a great advantage in organizmg by mdustry: The in- 


dustry groups concerned will feel some ownership of the standards they create and 
are therefore much more likely to use them. But there is more to it than that. 

Last year, the Departments of Labor and Education gave awards to a number of 
industry organizations that came forward with proposals to develop industry skill 
standards. Among them was the American Electro mcs Association, Trom whom you 
are hearing today. Each proceeded, as asked, to develop standards without reference 
to the way in which the others were proceeding. This is a very good way to explore 
the territory and to develop some experience from which the country will profit 
enormously. But it is no way to buUd a national system of standards. 

When school teachers cross State lines in this country, they typically have to take 
a whole lot of courses in the new State that look suspiciously like courses they had 
to take in the old State, because the two States have not agreed on a common stand- 
ard for teacher licensure. They often choose to leave teaching altogether rather then 
endure the tedium and the expense. Suppose, in addition to electronics, a group had 
come forward to develop standards for tne automobile industry. When an automobile 
mechanic opens the hood these davs, she stares down at a maze of electronic equip- 
ment. If the auto industry should experience a big downturn, would we not want 
people who had learned a lot of electronics skills in the automobile manufacturing 
business to be able to transfer easilv into consumer electronics or industrial elec- 
tronics, if things were booming there? There would be enormous advantages in hav- 
ing standards that embraced not just industry groups, but skill groups that cut 
across industry groups. 

Then there is the question of what an 'industry is for the purposes of standard- 
setting. The American Electronics Association in fact encompasses many different 
industries, ranging from ma;ine electronics to consumer electronics to the comput- 
ing and semiconductor industries, and a whole host of occupations as defined by the 
dictionary of occupational titles. Manv of these industries have their own associa- 
tions. Electronics as a group falls under manufacturing, which has its own associa- 
tion. The AEA is not even mone in representing electronics taken as a whole. There 
is also, for example, the Electronic Industries Association. Some people have ex- 

gressed strong reservations about giving as much latitude to the Nationsd Skill 
tandards Board as the bill does and have recommended specifying in the legisla- 
tion that the Board organizes the standards by industry or by groups of industries, 
and then delegates to those industries the actual setting of standards. But, as I 
have just pointed out, this is much easier to say than to do. Someone would still 
have to define what is an industry, making a map of all industries that had every- 
thing colored in, with not more than one color on one spot. Even after the Board 
had done this, and thrown away the possibility of organizing by skill groups when 
it did so, it would not be at all obvious which industry organization or organizations 
should be given the standard- setting job. 

In my view, the Congress should not try to second guess the best answers to the 
issues I have just raised. The Nation would be best served if the Board were left 
free to figure out for itself what the 'map' of standards should look like, taking into 
account the experience of other nations, the work of the pilot projects, and the views 
of all the actors who will have to make the new system work. They will have to 
establish a balance between the views of industry leaders who will want standards 
molded to the needs of their industry and of workers, who will want to have the 
option of moving easily across industries. They will surely want to fully involve the 
existing industry groups and associations in their work, but the Board should not 
be put in a position in which it feels compelled to give the standard-setting process 
away to any single organization that represents only one faction in an inmistry, or 
necessarily to give equal play to many organizations. Some industry associations — 
the AEA is an excellent example — will leap to the challenge and do first rate work. 
But many will not. Some associations will create standards that are forward looking 
and internationally competitive. Others will freeze into concrete standards that will 
condeirm this country to competing on wages, a competition we can only lose. What 
is important is that the Congress makes its goals as clear as possible, provide the 
Board the latitude to figure out how to get there and then hold it accountable for 
its decisions. I would not tell it how to organize. 

The pilot projects are well underway. Weren't they supposed to provide the data 
that would help us figure out how to establish a system of skills standards? 
Shouldn't we wait until their work is done, 2 years from now, before we create this 

No. The organizations involved in these pilot projects do not see themselves as 
engaged in a research project — they are building standards they actually plan to use 
in their industries. And it is beginning to bother some of them a lot that what they 
are doing does not fit together. They know that that means that someone will have 
to come along to create a structure into which they will have to fit. K I were them, 


I would far rather have the option of working now with a Board whose job it was 
to design the system, so that the standards I was developing could be designed to 
fit into that system from day one than to be told 2 years from now that everything 

1 had done was provisional and that a new Board was about to put into place a sys- 
tem that was almost certain to invalidate much of the work that I had done. 

It is very important that tiie new Board pays attention to what is being learned 
by the pilot projects, but that does not require that it not be created for another 

2 years. 

The standards that the National Skill Standards Board will put into place will 
create yet another set of hurdles barring the way to good jobs for disadvantaged 
kids and workers. Shouldn't the Congress prevent anyone from using these stand- 
ards for initial hiring and promotion until everyone has an equal opportunity to 
learn the material that must be mastered in order to meet the standards? 

Employers use all kinds of standards and tests now to help them make the deci- 
sion on who to hire. No employer would be required to use the new Board stand- 
ards. It seems strange to say they should be prohibited from using these stemdfu^ 
but can use any others they wish. The pertinent law here is Title VII and the relat- 
ed case law flowing from Griggs vs. Duke Power, which basically says no test can 
be administered for hiring purposes that has differential impact by race and cannot 
be shown to measure skills or knowledge that are actually required to successfully 
perform the job for which the person has applied. The bill now makes it explicit that 
it does not override any of this law, all of which remains in force. Thus Griggs and 
Title VII would apply to the standtu-ds and tests emerging from this Board in the 
same way that they would apply to any others. That being so, I can see no reason 
for denying employers the rignt to use the standards and tests developed by this 
Board for hiring purposes, assuming that they meet these basic civil rights criteria. 

Which raises the larger Question as to whether it is fair to put steindards into 
place when some people wUl find it easier to meet these standards than others be- 
cause they have had access to more and better preparation. But that is true now. 
The proportion of people who come from minority and low income backgrounds who 
take and pass the examinations that lead to advanced degrees in mathematics, engi- 
neering and the sciences is appallingly low, as is the proportion of those who take 
the medical boards or the nursmg examinations. The reasons that is so, though com- 
plex, are clearly related to unequal opportunities to acquire the necessary pre- 
requisite knowledge. But the society does not therefore prohibit the use of^ those 
standards and examinations. If it did so, employers would find some other way to 
make the decision about who to hire and the ways that they chose would undoubt- 
edly be more subjective and more subject to racial bias than the ones now in place. 
This is not going to be an easy dilemma to resolve. 

In any case, we should not lose sight of the fact that the new skills standards 
can be a powerful asset for disadvantaged Americans. Standards can open doors to 
people who can show that they can demonstrate the required competence. And the 
new job training standards will be a powerful tool for improving the quality of Fed- 
eral job training programs. 

Why limit the number of standards to 20? Why not have a standard for every occupa- 
tion, or at least for every industry? 

The first answer to that question is the one I gave earlier when discussing the 
German-Japanese dimension line of thinking about skiU standards: The more stand- 
ards there are, the more rigid the economy that uses them. It takes a long time to 
change them and people tend to identify with the specific occupation for which they 
have Deen certified, so they will fight changing them. The society that has a more 
flexible system will be able to respond faster to changes in technology and consumer 
taste. That is why all the European countries have been busy slashing the number 
of standards they use. 

But there is another, and very important, reason. When the Commission on the 
Skills of the American Workforce examined these issues in 1989 and 1990, it discov- 
ered that the advanced industrial countries experiencing the best growth rates in 
real wages and productivity were competing on quality, not cost. They knew that 
countries with low wage structures would inevitably dominate the maikets for mass 
produced goods. But competing on quality, customization and responsiveness re- 
quires a different form of work organization than does mass production. 

Competing on quality means abandoning the mass production method of organiz- 
ing woric in favor of high performance work organization. The Commission found 
that, in assembly plants, the workers had been organized into self-managing teams 
that took responsibility for scheduling their own production, parts ordering and in- 
ventory, equipment maintenance and quality control. In banks, the Conmiission 
found that ordinary bank tellers had been trained to understand and sell the full 


range of modem sophisticated bank products to their customers, from zero coupon 
bonds to variable rate mortgages. Insurance companies had given their field agents 
powerful portable computers loaded with custom software that enabled them, on the 
spot, to give their customers quotes that used to take a week to get to them. The 
back -office staff who used to grind out the numbers for these quotes had been re- 
trained to do sophisticated custom quotes for products on which the company could 
make a much higher profit. 

In each of these cases, the front-line staff had been given duties and responsibil- 
ities that, in this country, are rarely assigned to anyone but professionals and man- 
agers. By empowering these front-line workers, the management had made it pos- 
sible to cut out many intermediate layers of management and supervision, and 
many specialized departments whose services were no longer needed, because there 
were many fewer departments, there were many fewer steps involved in producing 
goods or services involved. 

In addition to the money saved, misconmiunicationB among all these organiza- 
tional units could be eliminated, mistakes could be avoided and much time saved. 
Quality went way up, because wastage could be avoided at the point at which it first 
occurred, rather than waiting untU it piled up at the end of the line. 

These firms could respond much more quickly to changes in consumer taste be- 
cause the long lead times required in conventional mass production were no longer 
needed. The people who actually worised on the line could make constant improve- 
ments in the product or service without waiting for the beginning of a whole new 
design and manufacturing cycle, which often takes years for a complex product. 

For all these reasons, high performance work organization holds the key to a hi^ 
productivity, high wage economy. By employing its disciplines, a company — or a 
whole country — can achieve the levels of quality, customization and responsiveness 
to changes in consumer taste that are required to establish and maintain wage lev- 
els above those that can be sustained with standard mass production methods. Only 
in this way, in other words, is it possible to produce the goods and services for which 
people around the world are prepared to pay premium prices. If a nation can orga- 
nize its economy on these prmaples, it can not only en^oy high wages, but it can 
also ensure high levels of employment and good income distribution. 

But high performance wore organization requires team organization and requires 
that the members of the team be able to do each other's jobs. It also requires that 
each member be able to take on a wide range of functions that are rather broadly 
defined. Underneath it all, it is predicated on the idea that the front-line worker 
is a professional. Doctors get a single basic credential, as do lawyers. One is ex- 

f»ected to specialize, but also to know the basics of all the jobs in the whole broad 
ield, and to be able to move to another speciality within that broad field with some 
facility. K our economy is to survive and prosper in this intensely competitive inter- 
national environment, it will be in part because the average front-line American 
worker is not a cog in a machine but rather an autonomous, contributing problem- 
solver, constantly learning, constantly looking for the next challenge. This — not the 
world of narrow occupational standards — is the world that the new standards 
should be designed for. 

The Chairman. Mr. Featherstone, it's nice to have you back. 

Mr. Featherstone. Thank you. I'm going to do this the way I 
was told to do it. 

Good morning. My name is Harry Featherstone, and I am chair- 
man and CEO of the Will-Burt Company. 

The Chairman. You do it any way you like, Harry. 

Mr. Featherstone. I've got to do it. 

I am a member of the board of directors of the National Associa- 
tion of Manufacturers. I do thank you for permitting me to come 
back. I would appreciate having my full statement included in the 

The Chairman. The statement will appear in its entirety in the 
record as if read. 

Mr, Featherstone. I am now going to break off and talk. I have 
been in the education of our corporation for 8 years, and I'd say all 
300 of us have been in it for 8 years. We started education in 1985. 
I had spent 20 years working with Boys' Village, which is 100 to 
175 youth out of the inner cities of Ohio, for whom the next step 


would have been prison. They came to Boys' Village in Wayne 
County, OH, I was president of that, and we had a school on cam- 
pus, and these kids went to regular high school, and then we put 
them in other high schools. They did very well. We had an 85 you 
95 percent nonreturn rate to their prior program they were in. 
That taught me a lot. 

So when I got into education in my corporation, I knew we had 
to do something to bring our schedule up while we started out. We 
went to — and I can only talk to you about our skill standards — we 
went to simple and advanced blueprint reading for the entire cor- 
poration. That includes myself, every factory worker, every office 
worker, engineers, it doesn t matter, they went to the same classes. 
Some of them didn't like this much, and if you saw the Peter Jen- 
nings program on TV the other day, one of them spoke out and 
said, "I hated it." He was a machinist who had 8,000 hours of mas- 
ter mechanics, and I sent him back to school, too. 

We went through this, we went through math, algebra, calculus, 
reading, writing. We had everything you would read or know in 
every corporation in the United States 10, 20 years ago. After that, 
we started 2 years of junior college, we can call it, in our buildings, 
where we bought University of AKron people in to teach our people 
everything they would get in the first 2 years of a business college 
going toward a 4-year degree. So it would be freshman and sopho- 
more years — things like cost accounting, marketing and so on. 

This was all voluntary. The math was mandatory, the rest was 

One hundred forty of our 300 people have voluntarily gone 
through or are in this program right now. ABC asked them last 
week. Why are you doing this, and they said, number one, because 
it is interesting, and number two, it is our future. 

I'd like to get to what has happened, because I think that is the 
power of education and the power of math and the power of devel- 
opment. Just last month, we received a $3.5 million order for print- 
ing equipment that was formerly made in Guadalajara, Mexico and 
had been for 10 years, where they pay $1 an hour, and we pay $10 
an hour. We have worked 5 years. Our teams in the factory went 
after this, with the sales, and we got it for Wayne County, OH. 

Our medical costs in 1985 were $1,961 per person. Our medical 
costs in 1992 are $2,162 per person. That is a 9,5 percent increase 
in 8 years. 

The Chairman, We are going to add you to Mrs, Clinton's task 

Mr. Featherstone. I think education would have helped very 
much. This means involvement, where we involve everybody in the 
medical decisions, and education, which allows people then to com- 
pletely understand what you and I know about medical costs and 
its impact in their daily lives. 

Another impact which I feel is the greatest thing, and believe 
me, I did not know this when we started — in 1980 through 1985, 
our workers' compensation was $145,000 per year. That is the ac- 
tual cost of each year of accidents in our factories, four of them. We 
are in basic industry. In 1992, we hit the amazing figure of $662. 
We had three accidents last year. Two of them were cuts on arms, 
one was a cut on the head. Two of them were for people that we 


had hired in August of last year, who had not been through the 
education and teaming system. 

Teaming allows people to watch over each other, allows them to 
be sequencing each other, so they know what is going to happen 
ahead of time. The effect on schools in our area is to me, again, 
a marvelous thing. Our machinists have visited the vocational 
school. Our local school math teachers have been visited by our as- 
sembly people. If you read The Washington Post article about Del- 
bert, he kindly came to me right before The Washington Post arti- 
cle and said, "When I first took the math test 3 years ago, Mr. 
Featherstone, I took it home to my kids, and they took it to the 
math teacher, and between us we finished the math test, and I 
turned it in the next morning. But I'd like to report to you that as 
of this January, I took the math test myself, and I passed it, and 
I am going for my G.E.D." Delbert is the last one in my operation 
to get that. He is 48 years old. I think it is quite an accomphsh- 

We cross-train, and the people are now cross-training them- 
selves — I don't even know it is going on; I just find it out oy acci- 
dent. All 23 of our paint people have now cross-trained so they can 
do all 23 jobs in case of a problem. That allows anybody in our op- 
eration if they have a problem at home or a problem somewhere 
else to go to their team member, leave the factory, go home and 
come back, and be covered by one of the other people, so the pro- 
duction of that department is not lost. 

The problem is that our people cannot leave and go to other fac- 
tories in the area because they cannot use their brains in these fac- 
tors. Another problem is people coming in — it's a disaster, because 
they just do not have the education and background in math and 
the skills that allow them to come into our factory. So we start over 
again. . 

We have placed in-house psychologists to work the area and give 
us a special rate; one percent of our people use them. We also in 
1985 started rehabilitation. All of these things dovetail— education, 
rehabilitation, in-house psychologist, and skills all come together to 
make a great corporation. 

I'd be open to comments. Thank vou. 

The Chairman. Thank you. We'll come back for questions. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Featherstone follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Harry Featherstone 

Good morning. Ny name is Harry Featherstone, and I am chairman and CEO of 
the Will-Burt Co. in Orrville, OH. I am a member of the board of directors of the 
National Association of Manufacturers and on its behalf, I thank the chairman and 
members of the committee for the opportunity to present testimony today on Title 
IV of S. 846— the skills standards portion of Goals 2000: The Educate America Act 

of 1993. , , , , , , , 

First, a little about Will-Burt, its employees and what we have learned about 
skills and standards. Ours is an employee-owned company making a diversified line 
of machined and fabricated parts for a range of companies, including Volvo Truck, 
Caterpillar and Ford. We also make part of the Patriot missile system. Eight years 
ago, we were on the verge of liquidation. Will-Burt had about $20 million in sales, 
but profitability ranged from only 1 percent to 4 percent. Workers were spending 
25,000 hours a year redoing rejected parts, costing the company $400,000 annually. 
The rejection rate was as high as 35 percent. Yearly turnover was very high and 
daily absenteeism ran up to 8 percent. Several of the plants were out-of-date. 


Moreover, a survey at the time found that although many employees worked with 
blueprints daily, they could not understand the blueprints well at all. Other employ- 
ees who worked with scales could not read them. 

I came to the company with a background as an accountant and engineer, after 
spending most of my career at Ford. At 55, I became president and desperately 
wanted to make a go of this once-proud company. 

The decision was made that the company could not survive paying $400,000 year- 
ly for its quality problems. We decided to set Will-Burt apart from its competitors. 
That meant that we would have to make the best parts in the business, the first 
time around. 

Previously, if a part came close to specification, it was shipped. We decided to 
shoot for perfect quality and perfect on-time delivery. Such metnods would have to 
start immediately. But how could workers manufacture to blueprints if they could 
not read them correctly? The answer was intensive math education. 

Voluntary blueprint reading and math classes were held on company time. Twen- 
tv-five employees signed up, but when they ran into homework and tests, they 
dropped out so quickly that soon only three were left. 

Finally, we countered by making the blueprint reading mandatory for production 
workers and voluntary for ofllce workers. A basic blueprint-reading class was taught 
by a vocational school teacher, and an advanced course was tau^t by continumg 
education teachers from the University of Akron. 

Still, the resistance was high. Persons out of school for 20 years did not relish 
the reintroduction to the classroom atmosphere. It was hard to convince them of the 
importance of the courses. I was called dictatorial. 

Yet there were seeds of hope — and workers began to see a future for themselves. 
Some of the workers saw the classes as a way to improve themselves and their 
skills, reasoning that if they ever left the company, they would be readily hired by 
one of the other well-paying manufacturers in the area. 

We continued to push education. We enlisted an industrial training specialist 
from the University of Akron. We had all floor workers go throu^ a rigorous course 
of geometry and geometric tolerancing. They reviewed high school matnematics, in- 
cluding fractions and algebra. Tests were given and scored by persons outside the 

Ultimately, we introduced Statistical Process Control (SPC), the measurement 
and tracking of parts through the manufacturing process to reduce deviations from 
standards. After the math course, which also taught reading, writing, sequencing 
and the value of statistics, the SPC course actually became a part of our lives. 

The situation began to improve. Major product liability cases were won and, as 
workers began to feel greater security, they began pulling together as a company. 

Bv this time, Will-Burt had spent about $200,000 in training. In 1988, the State 
of Ohio agreed to pay for a teacher and books. Will-Burt maintained the classroom. 
It paid the rest of the teachers, bought additional books and, of course, paid the 
wages of those taking the courses, because the classes were conducted on company 
time. The training had a dramatic effect. Products were produced exactly to the 
blueprints. Workers were scrupulous about demanding perfect parts. 

The combination of employee ownership and higher skUl levels made for a new 
attitude and performance. One worker was quoted as saying that if someone saw 
another producing bad parts, that worker would "^ump on him." People knew that 
one worker's error woula hurt them all; they took pride in all of the company's prod- 

On-time delivery leapt to 98 percent for months on end. By the end of 1988, the 
parts-rejection rate had fallen to less than 10 percent. The rate is now less than 
0.01 percent. Time spent reworking parts dropped from about 2,000 hours a month 
to 400, even though the company was doing much more precision work than before. 
The rework costs dropped from $400,000 per year to less that $100,000, with a trend 
down indicating .007 percent of sales in 1991. 

These days, employees are offering suggestions for products and maAeting. An 
idea was developed for a Quick Turn Department, a team of 12 versatile fabricating 
people who would turn out parts overnight for delivery in 24 hours to customers 
who must have this service. The new department is on its way to making $2 million 
a year. In December 1992, 3 Telescoping Mast Team people took more than $150 
out of the cost of a $1,000 assembly. 

Other statistics measure Will-Burt's renaissance as well. By 1989, the University 
of ;^ron determined that the company was 99.9 percent math-literate. Return of 

foods as a percent of sales dropped from 3.7 percent in 1985 to 1.1 percent in 1989. 
Iven so, the cost of quality (quality-control labor, superintendent and management 
salaries, plus rework labor and materials) as a percent of sales dropped from 6 per- 
cent in 1985 to 2 percent in 1990. 


Morale has improved. Workers' compensation in actual dollars paid dropped iTX)m 
$145,000 in 1985 to $16,000 in 1990, or from $525 per person to $57 and, in 1992, 
to $662 or $3 per person. The number of sick days less than 2 weeks was cut in 
half from 4.6 days per person to 1.9, and health care costs have stabilized. Finally, 
overall, we are gettmg work back that left the country for Mexico in the early 19808. 
In 1992, we received purchase orders for $3.5 million in sales in binding equipment 
formerly manufactured in Mexico and we expect this to grow to $4 to $5 milhon by 
the end of 1993. We are hiring new workers to meet the increased workload. 

The value of broadening an employee's education is a philosophy I endorse, and 
one that is now ingrained in the company. In addition to the classes begun in 1986, 
the company has added ones on problem-solving, decision-making, public speaking, 
machine controls, employee discrimination and, last week, Swedish and French. The 
goal is to edlow those taking the courses to accumulate credit for an associate of 
science degree. But we can't stop here. To truly achieve our goals, Will-Burt people 
must contmually upgrade their skills and learn new ways of doing things. Trainmg 
and education is our oest investment. 

It is with this in mind that I turn to the skills standards in Title IV of S. 846. 
We applaud your efForts to focus attention on the development of voluntary national 
occupational skiU standards. Occupational skills standards are a common language 
for jobs and for training; they are the building blocks of jobs. The old way of looking 
at training was to look at the number of years it took to attain a skill. We under- 
stand now that all that is important is the skill attained. We know that everyone 
learns in a different way — some in a classic teaching situation, some by reading and 
some by doing. We must have a system flexible enough to get credit for skUls 
learned in a variety of ways, but we all have to agree on a common language of 
what those skills are. That s what skills standards are all about to me. They need 
to be based on jobs, broadly defined. We no longer need jobs broken down into thou- 
sands of sub-groups the way we have done for the past 100 years. Workers must 
be able to learn a oroad base of skills using skill standards as a guide. We recognize 
that, in the past, the private sector has not systematically arranged, specified or 
provided adeauate occupational skills information for industrywide use for public 
education ana training systems. With increasing competitiveness in the modem 
work force, this initiative could begin to fill that need — and we at the NAM know 
that a world-class work force is critical to U.S. economic vitality in global markets. 
That's why I'm here to commend this process to build partnerships and structures 
to identify the skUls recruired in a world-class work force. 

This eflort is timely. The technology and information age has given us new tools — 
and new challenges — to make work more productive. Yet the majority of America's 
work force— despite excellent strides in tne past few years — is designed and our 
labor force educated for the mass-production, segmented-work models of the past. 

The world's leading companies, however, are Dolstering productivity growtn by 
creating "high-performance work organizations" that focus on continuous improve- 
ment of work processes. In such worKplaces, highly skilled people use effective train- 
ing, teamwork, technology and information tools to achieve major strides in product 
innovation, quality, customer responsiveness and time-to-market. Employees in such 
work organisations are involved decision-makers. Management layers disappear and 
bureaucracy decreases. Front-line employees' skills increase as they assume many 
tasks formerly reserved for managers. 

"High-performance work organizations" structured this way require a highly 
skUled work force. They must be equipped with basic skills and nave content knowl- 
edge. In high-performance workplaces, employees in virtually every job function 
must be able to make wise decisions, use tecnnology and manage information adept- 
ly, communicate effectively and work in teams toward common goals — and do so at 
levels of competency benchmarked to world standards of excellence. 

At the NAM, we are working hard to share this knowledge across all manufactur- 
ing sectors. In a special partnership with the Department of Labor, we use our "suc- 
cess stories" and our tools to move toward high performance. We ask our members 
that have had success to help those that have not implemented programs to be the 
"best of the best." I have attached a description of this project and a summary of 
our progress to date to this testimony. 

In this context, I underscore the NAMs support for this initiative to design and 
set national, voluntary industry -based efforts to identify needed employee com- 

{)etencies and skill standards. Such efforts are the underpinning of the high per- 
brmance workplace and are crucial to a world-class work force. 

We have some concerns, however, about the current language in Title IV of S. 
846. I would like to share them with you and hope the committee can clarify some 
of these issues and rework the language appropriately so that this measure can re- 
ceive good business support. 


This effort must be industry-led. And although others are needed to make this a 
team effort with other constituencies, a clear signal must be sent to business that 
it is in the forefront of this effort. Without that signal, voluntary standards cannot 
work. Industry must use these standards. It must create them and be in control. 
Without that, a hollow, false-bottomed structure will be created that will not be 
used. Other countries have faced similar problems and faced failure when voluntary 
standards are not industry-led. To come to the party, we must oi^anize it. There- 
fore, we recommend — 

• that the chair of the board as described in Title IV be an industry-based indi- 
vidual for the first term. 

• that the board itself be composed of a majority of representatives from busi- 
ness and industry trade associations and tnat workers, both union and non- 
union, be included. We also suggest that one-half of the education component 
be composed of representatives irom community-type colleges. 

• that the functions of the board be defined so it is clear that its iob is only 
to define the industry clusters and set the criteria and processes for how indus- 
try standards should be developed. At no time should it set standards. All ac- 
tivities of the board should be totally nonbinding and voluntaiy. All promulga- 
tion of standards must come from industry clusters. The board should endorse 
only that proper criteria and processes have been followed. The board should 
oversee the process, help keep chaos out of the system, but never mandate. 

• that all certificates of mastery be issued by the industry clusters in partner- 
ship with community colleges. 

• that any system to "periodically revise and update skill standards and assess- 
ment and certification systems" be clearly understood and industry-led. 

• that a sunset provision be included and that this process require congres- 
sional reauthorization in 3 to 5 years. This is a grand experiment. If it doesn't 
work, let's end it and try something else. 

• finally, we understand there is amended language on the civil- rights section 
of Title IV. I have looked at it but am not a lawyer. It seems to say that busi- 
nesses cannot rely on a skill standard, assessment or certification system in any 
civil-rights proceeding. The reality is that small business will rely on it. This 
language, as well as that pertaining to "methods for validating the fairness," 
unnecessarily burdens Title IV, which has as its major focus the development 
of a voluntary national system of skill standards and certifications. 

Voluntary skill standards could benefit all U.S. industries and work forces. They 
could change the way we understand work and give U.S. workers great new oppor- 
tunities. They can encourage more companies, large and small, to create "high-per- 
formance workplaces" to increase company productivity and enhance the competi- 
tiveness of all industry. They can increase opportunity, create clear career path op- 
tions and motivate students who will know they are pursuing skills through edu- 
cation and job training that are needed in the work force. We at the NAM are opti- 
mistic that the Congress can respond to our concerns, as well as to our hopes, that 
appropriate industry-led voluntary standards — our new common language of jobs — 
can help us all move to high performance and lead the world economy in rnanufac- 
turing productivity and performance. I will be pleased to answer any questions the 
committee may have. 

[The project and summary referred to is retained in the files of the committee.] 

The Chairmaji. Mr. Sweeney. 

Mr. Sweeney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the com- 

I am John Sweeney, president of the Service Employees Inter- 
national Union. SEIU represents more than one milHon service sec- 
tor workers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. We are 
the fourth-largest union in the AFL-CIO, and the largest union of 
health care workers in North America. 

I am pleased to be able to testify today in support of establishing 
a National Skills Standards Board and, more broadly, to stress the 
urgent need for training and skill standards in order to foster high- 
productivity work organization in the United States to build a se- 
cure and prosperous work force and to keep our Nation competitive 
in the global economy. 


As the United States has witnessed the transition to a service 
economy, we have also witnessed the retention of outmoded meth- 
ods of production, management, and work organization based on 
the Taylor model. This system was developed to serve mass produc- 
tion by relying on an ehte few to organize work. Little trainmg was 
provided to front Hne workers, and little was expected of them. 

Now, the revolutions in high technology and electronic commu- 
nications have brought demands for greater skills from our work 
force, even in traditionally low-wage occupations. But while the 
productivity imperative remains, we are not responding to change 
by providing workers with the skills they need, either in school or 

on the job. , . , i. 

In the best examples from the modem industrial sector, we nave 
seen such problems addressed. Apprenticeships and training pro- 
grams have a long and successful history in American industry. 
But we have seen almost nothing hke it in the service sector, 
where the largest number of employees are in need. 

I would Hke to share SEIlTs experiences in the health care in- 
dustry. Health care workers will have to improve their skills as the 
industry continues to restructure, and a strategy for upgrading 
skills will be needed if workers are to participate in types of health 
dehvery systems and work organizations. Skills standards, continu- 
ous training, and effective career development tracks will result in 
a more flexible and productive health care work force. 

Our union is participating in two experimental skill standards 
programs in the health care industry. Both are aimed at setting 
uniform standards for health science and technology jobs, and both 
are funded by grants from the Department of Education. 

One is being carried out by the Far West Laboratory for Edu- 
cational Research and Development. It will develop standards for 
a number of entry-level service occupations, including nurse aides, 
orderUes, and other support service jobs. 

The other is being conducted under the auspices of the Edu- 
cational Development Center, Inc. In its initial stages, this project 
is undertaking an extensive analysis of the skills content of jobs, 
including focus groups and interviews with front line workers. 

In addition, SEIU has negotiated career ladder programs for 
service workers. SEIU locals, for example, have developed a much- 
cited worker education program at nine hospitals in the State of 
Massachusetts. The program initially concentrated on moving 
entry-level workers to mid-level clerical, laboratory, and mainte- 
nance positions and has since expanded to permit career movement 
into higher-level technical and professional positions. 

The career ladder program at Cape Cod Hospital, which has been 
in existence for more than 10 years, helps facilitate more than 50 
promotions per year. 

Our experience with labor-management cooperation tells us that 
national skill standards will be vital to the future of both employ- 
ees and employers in this industry. 

Young workers often lack the skills to rise above an entry-level 
occupation. The mechanisms to promote skills development and 
certification just don't exist. As a result, frustration and turnover 
are high. In the health care field, this cycle of frustration is rein- 


forced by rapidly changing technology and improved infection con- 
trol procedures which make work especially complex. 

In addition, our health care work force mcluoes an ever-growing 
number of recent immigrants and nonnative speakers of English. 
However, in many health care work settings, computer skills are 
now expected even of housekeepers and supply clerks. The result 
is a job ghetto — no mobility, no escape.. And even where individual 
facilities do offer training to employees, the content is often too em- 
ployer-specific, and cannot be applied elsewhere in the event of job 

But our experience also tells us that we need to develop skill 
standards carefully. Labor unions and, more important, front line 
workers, must be fairly represented in the development process. In 
fields like health care, our workers know better than anyone how 
countless matters of work organization can be improved. 

Front line workers are the key to quality in the workplace, and 
they will be an invaluable resource as we undertake the mission 
of developing skill standards. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Sweeney follows:] 

Prepared &^ATEME^fr of John J. Sweeney 
I'm JoHn Sweeney, prwldent of the Service Employea Intemittonil Union. 

SEIU r<pre«enti more thtn one million lervlce-iector worten In the United Stitei, 
Cinidi. ind ruerto Wco. We irt the foynh liriett union hi the AFL-CIO, tnd the Urfeit 
union of hetHhcirt workeri In North AmeHci. 

I'm plei»«J to be ib!e jo ttJtlfy todiy In r-pfort of eftJblliWnf i NtttoniJ Skill 
Sttrdirdi Boird ir»d mere broadly, to itrtii the urf»ni need for tmlnlng tai ikllli lUitlirdi la 
order to foner bl|h-produetlvfty work or|tnlailon In the United Suttf to build i iecure tnd 
proeperoui v^ork force tnd to keep our nttion compciltlva la the globil ecooomjr. 

Al the United Sutei his witnet»ed the tnrjiiion to ■ »ervlce economy we hive iJ«c 
wltncfied the retention of cwtmoded raeihodi of pTx?ductlcn, mwu|emeot, tnd work or|inlMllon 
bijed on the "Tiylor* model. Thli tyitem «m developed to »erve miii production by rtlylnf 
on in elite few to orftnlze wotk. Little tninlnt v^ti provided to front-line worken tnd Hole 
wti expected of them. 

Now, the revolutloni In Mfh technolefy tod electnjnlc commonlcttlon hive brought 
dcmtndi for fretter ikllli from our workforce - even In tndltlomlly low-wife occupitioni. 
But while the productivity Irrperttlve remilns, we iren't rejpcoding to chtafe by provUinf 
worketi with the ikilli they nted - cither hi ichool or on the Job. 

In the betl ewunplei from the modem Inrfuytriil lector, we hive leen luch probleof 
iddreiied Apppcmlceihlpi ini trtlnlnj propimj hive i Jonf tad luccewful hljtory In 
Amerktn loduitty. 

But we've leen tfano«t nolhlnf like k In the wrvlce lector, where the Itrtett number of 
employeei ire In need. 

f would like to thtre SEIU'i etperletcee In the betlthUre lodoi^. 

Hetlthctie worten win hive to bnprove their ikllli u the Induitry contfrmei to 
reitructure lod ■ itrttety for up|ndln| ikUli will be needed If worken tre to ptrddpite ta 


typet of hetlth delivery lyiterai tni work orfinlMtloM. SldlU ittndtrdi, conilmKnii tnlnlng. 
■nd (^Kdve ctiter development tncks will remit In ■ mora flexible and productive betltl^tre 

My union li pir1lc!r»tln| h t^o experimentil iWIIj itindtrds profrtitu In the healtlfctie 
jnduitry: both tre timed it »cttln| uniform ittndtrdi for health icletice lul technolofy Jobij ud 
both lie ftinded by irtnti from the Deptitmert of Educttlon. 

One li beinf canled out by the Fe We«t Liborttory for EAicitlonil Rejeirch irw! 
Development. It will develop iturKlirdi for ■ mimber of entry- level lervlce occupatloni, 
Including nurse ildei , otderliei. lod oCwr luppon service Jobs. 

The other li belnf conducted under the lusplcej of the Educitlon Development Center, 
Inc. In its Initial lUges, thli project Is uodentktnf an extentive inalytls of the skills eontert 
of Jobs, Includinf focus groupi sod Interview! with frontline workers. 

In iddltlon, SEIU hsi negotiited career ladder programs for lervlce workers. SEIU 
lociii, for example, have developed a much^lted Worker Education Program at nine hospitals 
(n ^fl«9rchufett1. Grants to set up thoie progrvns came from a tpeeiti trtininf fUrxi esubllahed 
as pirt of the state's universal beilth plan. The program Initially concentrated or moving entry- 
level workeri to mid-level clerical, liboritory tiid malntenince potittona and hu since expanded 
to enable moves into higher-level technical and profeistonil positions. 

The Career Ladder program at Cape Cod Hospital, which hu been In existence for more 
than 10 years, nelps fkcillute more than 90 promotions per year. 

And our experlervx with labor-mirugeraent cooperation tella ui that nadonal aUUs 
standards wil! be viul to the ftiture of both employees and employers bi this Industry. 

Only by fostering hlfh-wage Jobs and providing workers with advtnced skills thit are 
ponable can American hetlthctre providers meet the siandirda of quality and cost -effectiveness 
they are seeking. 

In this Indnstry, Vpung workers often Isck the skills to rise above an entry-level 
occupation. The mechar/ims to promote ikllls development and certlflcatloD Just don't exlit. 
As a result, fruitratlon and tumovet are high. 

But leaving the Job doesn't benefit the typical service-sector worker. Rather, employeea 
are held h low-ertl Jobi by their lack of skJIU. and their career* tre more likely to reflect 
movement from one tow-wage, entry-level Job to another without upward mobility. 

In the healthtare field, this cycle of frustration If rsln^orced by rapidly chanflBg 
technobgy aivl bnp^ved Infection control procedure! which make work especially complex. 

In addition, our heslihbare workforce Includes an ever growing numbet of recent 
Immigrants and non-native spelkers of Ei'gH«h. However. In many healtHctre work setdnga, 
computer s'-Jlls are how expected even of housekeepers and supply elerka. 

The result Is a Job ghetto - no mobility, no escape. 

And eveh where IndlvWhul fidlldea do offer trtlnlng tc employees, the content Is often 
too employer-ipeciric. and can't be applied eltewhere In the of job dlskxatkjn. 

But our experience alio tells us that we need to develop skllli itandsrds carefully. Labor 
union*, and more ImporUnt, frort-iine workers, muat be fairly represented hi the development 
procesi. In fields like healthcare, our workers krww better tfian anyone how countless mattett 
of work otnanitatlon can be hnproved. 

rront-llne workers are the key to quality In the workpjnce, and they will be an hvtluible 
resource as we underuke the mission of developing skills sundards. 


The Chairman. Thank you very much, 

Mr. Tucker, let me ask you why should the Feds be involved in 
this? This was a matter that was discussed in that rather extensive 
review or study— what role should the Feds have, should industry 
have, and States, and local communities? What is your response? 

Mr. Tucker. Well, I think the answer is really very simple 

The Chairman. And this is assuming the panel is set up as out- 
lined in the legislation, which is a very broad-based panel. 

Mr. Tucker. Right. I view the Federal function here as a conven- 
ing and guiding function. It is not a "doing it" function. In effect 
what the Federal Government is doing is assembling around a 
table all the parties who have to be involved— have to be involved 
in what? The reason that the Federal Government has to do this 
is because it is the only convener who has the standing to help cre- 
ate a system. 

What is happening right now out there in the States — and I was 
talking just yesterday with Evelyn Gansglass, who is the point per- 
son for these issues at the National Governors Association — is that 
State by State, the States have stopped their work on setting skill 
standards of this sort because it makes no sense to them to do this 
State by State. They know that these standards are going to be val- 
uable only if they run from coast to coast. So they are waiting, she 
said, for the Federal Government to step up to the plate and orga- 
nize this activity. 

When I talk to the people in the American Electronics Associa- 
tion, they say it makes no sense to do it this way. 

When an automobile worker these days picks up the hood, 
whether they are repairing or making the car, and they look under- 
neath, what they see is electronics. We have the electronics indus- 
try setting standards over here, and we have the automobile indus- 
try setting standards over here. If somebody wants to move from 
making refrigerators, if that doesn't happen to be a popular thing 
to do this week, and move into the electronics part of the auto- 
mobile business, thoy will have to start at the bottom all over 
again, in a training program designed to a different standard. That 
makes no sense. 

What we need as a country is a system. What we have to have 
around the table are the people from State government, from busi- 
ness, from labor, from the advocacy groups and all the other folks 
whose interests need to be represented as we build the system. It 
is only the Federal Government that has the convening authority 
to make that happen. Without a system, we're dead. 

The Chairman. Let me ask you this. We are down to — and 
maybe John Sweeney will correct me — about 17 percent of our GNP 
is in manufacturing. For the Europeans, it is 31, 32, 33 percent, 
and their wages are equal to if not higher than ours; their benefit 
packages in many cases are far more generous, and yet we con- 
tinue to see in my own State of Massachusetts and in the country 
a very substantial loss of manufacturing jobs. 

How relevant do you think skills standards programs are in 
terms of the ability to be able to compete internationally and main- 
tain a substantial manufacturing base in those European coun- 


Mr. Tucker. I think it is absolutely essential. When the commis- 
sion went all over the world looking at these issues, what it discov- 
ered in essence is that the world that Harry Featherstone just de- 
scribed is relatively rare in the United States, but quite common 
in the European countries with which we compete and which are 
doing best. 

Interestingly, just as Harry said, the tinns in the United States 
that are moving farthest and fastest in the direction find that the 
single greatest obstacle they have to making it work is the lack of 
people who have the skills that are required. And when you look 
at what it takes to build the skills that are required in a whole 
population, the thing that leaps to the fore is standards. Why? Be- 
cause if you think mDOut this from the standpoint of a kid coming 
out of high school, £md the investment that that kid has to make 
in acquiring the high skill level that Harry is looking for, why 
would that kid invest either the time or the money? 

The answer in those countries is that they know that if they 
meet the high skill standard that has been established, largely by 
the employers, with the help of labor and education, they know 
that they can get a job that is going to pay well anywhere in the 
country. That's a very strong incentives. 

The Chairman. And there is strong evidence of that? 

Mr. Tucker. Absolutely, from one end of the world to the other. 

The Chairman. Mr. Featherstone, I had the opportunity a week 
ago to meet with the Minister of Labor of Australia. About a year 
ago, thev implemented this kind of approach to developing skill 
standardfs in Australia. And when I asked about the attitude of 
businesses, he said, interestingly, that they got support both from 
labor and from the larger, more progressive, more successful busi- 
nesses — ^because those businesses were already investing in worker 
training. There was some resistance from the middle-level compa- 
nies and corporations. But they put a system to develop national 
skill standards in effect a year ago, and it is working now, and 
there is general agreement across the whole spectrum in Australia 
that it deserves support. 

The interesting thing is that when I asked the Minister of Labor 
how many American companies were operating in Australia and 
strongly supporting this kind of program, he listed 40 or 50. Can 
we begin to think that we might get these companies' parent oper- 
ations to give us some help and support for an American type of 
program? Can you give us a little advice on that. 

Mr. Featherstone. Over the last 3 years, I have had the oppor- 
tunity to speak at over 5,000 companies in the United States, from 
Mississippi to Oregon to Florida. I have found hundreds of compa- 
nies that are proceeding this way, and as of last night, in Wayne 
County, OH, three more came to my house and said we'd like to 
go this way with our companies — and they are all 90 to 300 people. 
We've got a lot of large companies like PBG, Johnson and John- 
son — Johnson and Johnson, by the way, told me they had gone up 
to the 10th grade, and now they are going to go up to the 14th 
grade, like we are doing. 

It is a cinch that it is happening. It is also a very difficult thing 
to do. I and NAM both agree with Marc that it has to be a Federal 
program to do it so we can be standard across the United States. 


I do believe there is a lot more going on than you'll ever find in 
this committee room, because I get calls two and three and four 
times a day from people wanting to go into it. Interestingly, 
Machita/Panasonic is on the phone with us all the time, wanting 
to put our program into their 10 plants in the United States, and 
we enjoy that program very much. 

I hope that answers it. 

The Chairman. I hope youll look through the legislation as well 
and kind of flyspeck it. We'd be enormously interested in what 
someone of your credibility would have to say about it — we might 
not agree with all of it, but I think that would be enormously help- 

Let me ask you this. You won that contract away from Mexico. 
Could you give us a thumbnail sketch of how that was done? Did 
you just have a better product, delivered in better time? 

Mr. Featherstone. No. 1, we worked on it for 5 years; it is not 
simple. Our cost of overhead — we are in 100-year-old buildings, and 
we have tried to maintain very excellent benefits, so the costs are 
very high. But in essence, our costs are low when you come to the 
quality of the output of our people. 

We have actually reached — and we have a big sign, "Beat Motor- 
ola" — we have actually reached 7 Sigma in our quality going out to 
our customers, and this is done by the teams in the factory — they 
don't have management supervision. We also prove to them that 
they could cut out a massive amount of money in the coordination 
of going to Mexico and so on by coming to us, because we have per- 
fect delivery, and we communicate very well with our customers. 
They liked it very much, and Harris, out of Dayton, OH turned 
around and said, "Do it, prove it, and you've got it." They gave us 
90 units in December, and we met it exactly. Every one functioned 
perfectly. So now we have the entire order. 

I think it comes down to high skills and high wages. 

The Chairman. How did you get into this? What made you de- 
cide to pursue this approach? Was it just sound business judgment? 
Why haven't other people gotten it? 

Mr. Featherstone. I worked for Ford Motor Company as a trou- 
bleshooter. I would straighten out corporations or plants — ^they 
were in the red, and I would put them in the black, and I had 3 
or 4 months each time to do that. 

Every time, I used the "zero defects" of the sixties, or the buzz 
word of the time, "quality circles," etc., and they always worked, 
but they worked like a system of delivering an immensely popular 
speech that dies the next minute — ^the things just didn't stay. 

So I asked what overall system would allow me to make sure 
that I could leave and go to another country, or retire, and so on, 
and these people would grow and have a future. And it came down 
to education. It came down to math education, because I just hap- 
pen to like math education. 

The Chairman. OK Mr. Sweeney, you represent a union whose 
membership includes a great number of minorities and a lot of 
women, as well as a lot of low-income workers doing a hard day's 
work trying to provide for their families and having an enormously 
difficult time of it. 


Whpt is the reaction generally among your members — ^minorities, 
women, and low wage workers in particular — to the development of 
these kinds of standards? Do they feel threatened by it, or do they 
support it, or what? 

Mr. Sweeney. They really support it. They are just hungry for 
the kinds of aims and goals that we see commg as a result of this 
legislation. In any situation where we have been able to put to- 
gether any of these programs that I referred to in my testimony, 
Sie workers have been so receptive, and it has not only built up 
their own pride and dignity in terms of their work and in terms 
of their opportunities for advancement, but it has also built up the 
morale and the spirit of the whole work force in those particular 

The Chairman. I think you and Mr. Featherstone are both un- 
derscoring something that we don't spend very much time on, and 
that is if you have a work force that is a satisfied work force — 
whether that means having adequate leave time so they can get a 
little time off when they have a sick child or getting some recogni- 
tion for their contribution in terms of production — they are going 
to produce better for the company. 

Mr. Sweeney. And if they have a role in the considerations and 
the expectations and feel that they are a part of the discussion of 
what the eventual program is, it is so good for them as individuals 
and as workers. 

The Chairman. I would just say parenthetically, and then my 
time is up, that this is very much in line with the kind of thing 
we are trying to do in OSHA. We don't need a huge number of in- 
spectors — we can't afford it in any event; with the number of DSHA 
inspectors we have now it's about once every 84 years that they can 
get to every workplace — ^but as Mr. Featherstone pointed out, 
where you have front line workers who are skilled and working 
closely together, with erch other and with management, you get re- 
ductions m terms of accidents, and you have other health-related 
benefits are realized. So worker participation is something that I 
think has a positive impact, or certainly appears to, with regard to 
the worker compensation issues, but that's another issue for an- 
other time. Thank you. 

Senator Kassebaum. 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I would just like to say I think this is a very important hearing. 
Establishing a National Skills Standards Board under Title IV of 
the education reform legislation has perhaps been overlooked in 
the whole discussion of the Goals 2000 in education, but it could 
si^ificantly affect a majority of our work force as this evolves. So 
I think it is an extremely important issue. 

I have been struck by all three of you commenting that the heart 
of it all is education, and you can't do much with skill standards 
if you can't build it on a solid education foimdation. I think as you 
said, Mr. Tucker, that where you find high skills, you have found 
high standards of education. As we require more from our students 
who graduate from high school, even middle school, those high 
standards are going to translate into a basic foundation which, as 
Mr. Featherstone has pointed out, is really the heart of his pro- 
gram, going back into education. 


I think saying that goes back to what we need to do to improve 
the standards and the expectations of those graduating from our 
secondary schools. 

To go back to skill standards, Mr. Sweeney, as far as the Service 
Employees Union and the skill standards that you are developing, 
say, for orderlies or nurses' aides, as you mentioned, are those not 
things that you could develop in an apprenticeship program with 
the success that Mr. Tucker pointed out is being attained in some 
of the apprenticeship programs in the union? Could that not be 

specific to 

Mr. Sweeney. In most of our programs, the workers are already 
in position in terms of entry-level jobs, and it is while they are 
working that they are provided with the upward mobility or the ca- 
reer ladder opportunities, and it is a form of apprenticeship, but it 
is in conjunction with their full-time work schedule. 

Senator Kassebaum. How do you mean "in conjunction with their 
full-time work schedule"? 

Mr. Sweeney. I mean the education is taking place in the work 
site, and they are working a full week, so they are putting in full- 
time employment. 

Senator Kassebaum. Can you give me a specific of what type of 
skill training, for instance, for a nurses' aide that would be taking 

Mr. Sweeney. The health care facility itself would be providing 
the classroom training as well as on-the-job training. 

Senator Kassebaum. But based to a national skill, or is this 
something that 

Mr. Sweeney. Based to national or State standards. 

Senator Kassebaum. Mr. Tucker? 

Mr. Tucker. Senator, I think fi-om my point of view, it is very 
important not to think about apprenticeship and these skill stand- 
ards as alternatives, but rather as two necessary halves to a whole 

That is, in my view, we should be building a set of standards 
which can be used in exactly the way John Sweeney is describing 
for people who are already employed as the standards that we 
would use for an apprenticeship program that we would build na- 

That is, what you have to do to become a skilled nurse would be 
independent of how you got to it. You could be 50 years old and 
a dislocated worker deciding to be a practical or registered nurse, 
or you could decide that that's what you wanted to do when you 
were 16 or 17 years old and moving out of high school and into 

So there might be lots of different ways to prepare yourself to 
meet the standard, but the standard would be independent of your 
age. In my view, it would be precisely the job of this National Skills 
Standards Board to create standards with such a system in view. 
So these would not be course standards; they would be outcome 
standards. They would tell you what you need to know and be able 
to do in order to succeed at this kind of work, quite independent 
of how you get there — all at work, all study, combination of study 
and work. Different people would get there differently. 


Senator Kassebaum. Well, you said several times in your discus- 
sions, Mr. Tucker, that what we need is a system. 

Mr. Tucker. Yes. 

Senator Kassebaum. And what is this system? Is it these stand- 

Mr. Tucker. No. It is interesting — in most of Europe and much 
of Asia, the phrase, "labor market system," is as well-known as the 
phrase, "education system." Unfortunately, in the United States, 
the phrase, "labor market system," as you know, is nearly un- 
known. What I mean by a "system" is an interlocked array of insti- 
tutions that will pull together in some sensible way all of our train- 
ing programs and our employment programs and our employment 
service programs so that they make some sense. What we have now 
are programs for poor people, which are completely separate from 
our programs for dislocated workers, which are completely separate 
from the programs that we use for vocational education for kids 
coming out of high school That is not the case in other countries. 

In other countries which really care about the quality of their 
front line work force and their future, these are not separate pro- 
grams, these are not separate systems; they are all pieces of a sin- 
gle, interlocked system. And one of the things that locks it all to- 
gether is a set of standards which are clear and which are the 
same for everybody, as I say. 

There are other pieces that ought to be part of this system, in 
my view, but the standards piece is absolutely essential to the op- 
eration of any conceivable system that anybody I know who has 
looked at the set of issues can imagine. It is crucial to motivate 
people to achieve at high levels to know, as I said earlier, that if 
you achieve this standard, there is somebody out there who is 
going to employ you and pay you well to meet it. 

Senator Kassebaum. You mentioned several times Europe and/ 
or Japan. But in both Europe and, I would argue, Japan, there is 
very little flexibility, and I think that is one troubling aspect 

Mr. Tucker. What kind of flexibility are you referring to? 

Senator Kassebaum. Well, you don t move easily. You tend to, in 
Japan, as you pointed out, stay in one industry. That may be 
changing. I think in Europe, you become an apprentice an elec- 
trician, and you tend to stay an electrician. Here, we have so much 
more mobility, i^d I would go back to the basics, again, which I 
think is crucial but which goes back to where we have been lack- 
ing, I think, in our educational system more than necessarily set- 
ting skill standards. 

And I think — just to say to Mr. Featherstone — ^you are the best 
example of what needs to be done, and you still believe, though, a 
national system is important. 

Mr. Featherstone. Yes, I do. We are working in Wayne County 
on a system to get the youth to come to us ri^t now. I have for 
2 years been working with the University of Akron to take my peo- 
ple into their fold for 2 years, and in vocational school, all industry 
is going to mentor each child in the vocational school, regardless 
of its hospitals, banks, etc. And this, by the way, is being set up 
next Tuesday. 

What we hope to do is bring together, 4 years down the line, the 
youth out of the school systems, with all the knowledge that is 


needed for any industry in our county so that we can get something 
going for ourselves and for these youth. 

We hired 10 youth from three counties 2 years ago, all high 
school gn*aduates, and three of them could add five-eightns and five- 
eighths. And we know what is coming out, so we also know that 
we have to work down at that level to be able to get feeds to us 
of very good people to mesh with our people. And we are doing 
that. There are two counties in Ohio working with me on this. 

Senator Kassebaum. If we could just clone you, we wouldn't need 
a National Skills Standards Board. But I think also, it shows what 
in the fiiture business has to recognize is important if it is to suc- 

Mr. Featherstone. I know. But I want my people to be able to 
move to California and be able to walk into a place and say, "I 
have an associate degree of manufacturing; this is my background, 
and I am good," and the employer will say, "We know you're good, 
because we know this system, and we know your standards." It has 
got to be. I want our people to be able to go worldwide and be 
proud of themselves and be able to step into any job. 

We have built total flexibility into our program. There is not skill 
that they can't do. My people can do any skill that I know of in 
automotive. I spent a long time in automotive. And because of their 
education and their math level — I don't know if this is a skill 
standard; I just know it is a standard that I think we will be build- 
ing from now until forever. And anybody could, but I still agree 
that we have got to have the ability to move people from here to 
there and let them go into anything they want, with the ability to 
learn quickly and go into it. 

Senator Kassebaum. Mr. Tucker. 

Mr. Tucker. One of the biggest reasons that large employers in 
this country don't employ kids coming right out of high school is 
because they haven't any way to interpret the high school record. 
It says I got an "A" in math, but the employer has absolutely no 
idea of knowing what that "A" in math is. Did I take general math, 
which doesn't mean a damn thing, or did I take real math, and I 
learned algebra and geometry and the rest? 

The same thing holds true here. A kid can walk in and say he 
has an AA degree in whatever it is from the local community col- 
lege, and Harry has absolutely no way of knowing what that 
means. It could mean that they nave absolutely solid education and 
training in that field, but it could also mean tnat that person is as 
far from a capacity to operate at 7 Sigma in that arena as a 4-year- 
old child. 

The functions that standards have served in these other coun- 
tries is to say to Harry if this person meets this standard, whether 
they came to him from California or Iowa or nextdoor, when they 
have met this standard, he knows they will be able to operate at 
7 Sigma, period, no questions asked. That is an enormous advan- 
tage to a country as a whole. 

Our ideas, by the way, about the rigidity of the European system 
are, I think, justified to some extent, but there are also a lot of 
myths about it. I discovered when the commission went to Ger- 
many, for example, that the recently retired chairs of both Deimler 
Benz and Deutschebank came up through their vocational edu- 


cation system. Everywhere we went, we found presidents and vice 
presidents of firms who were graduates of their vocational edu- 
cation system — which would be quite unthinkable in this countiy. 
You go to vocational education, and you rarely wind up in manage- 
ment at any level. 

One-third of the university-degreed engineers in Germany came 
up through their vocational education system, which would also be 
unthinkable here. The Germans are trying very hard right now. 
They have recently reduced 44 separate classifications in the ma- 
chine tools and machining trades down to just six They recognize 
the need to move into broad classifications. 

In my view, what this country needs to get the best of both pos- 
sible worlds and address the problem that you are talking about is 
a system of qualifications that will meet the need that Harry just 
talked about, but not be so narrow that il produces what you are 
afraid of, which is rigidity in the economy. That is what is crucial. 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you very much. My time is up. 

The Chairman. Thank you. 

Senator Simon. 

Senator Simon. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for 
holding hearings on this. 

Mr. Tucker, I regret that I was not here for your testimony. How- 
ever, I did read your written testimony. In it you say, in referring 
to Japanese employers that, "unlike us, they believe that the most 
important component of general intelligence is effort, and the least 
important is inherited aptitude." 

Mr. Tucker. Correct. 

Senator Simon. What are you saying by implication about us? 

Mr. Tucker. Oh, the record is very clear. This whole countiys 
education system is organized on the assumption that education 
achievement is a direct function of inherited intelligence. That is 
the view that American psychologists put on the table in the 1930's 
and 1940's, and it absolutely informed our whole testing system 
and our curriculum in the United States. 

Senator Simon. So we end up with lower expectations for many 
people, particularly minorities. 

Mr. Tucker. Absolutely. Those psychologists in the 1940's said 
that only 30 percent of us were capable of serious academic work; 
the rest could never do it. And that actually fit our conception of, 
as John Sweeney said, how we ought to organize work, because we 
only needed 30 percent of us tc be managers and professionals, so 
all the rest could be drones. That is not what the Japanese believe. 
When I went to Toyota City 3 years ago, they were training all of 
the people on the assembly line to be qualified junior engineers in 
American terms — all of them. They believed these kids had the ca- 
pacity to study engineering and master it at a serious level. That 
is why we are getting beaten. 

Senator Simon. I have been spending some time visiting schools 
in a number of poor areas on the west side and the south side of 
Chicago, I have found that a principal's expectations play an impor- 
tant role in a student's success. It is very interesting that where 
you have a principal who has high expectations for the students, 
these young people meet those expectations. Where you have prin- 


cipals who have accepted tlie stereotypes, and have low expecta- 
tions, that's what the students Hve up to. 

Mr. Tucker. There is tons of evidence for that. There is tons of 
evidence for that. 
Senator Simon. I think your point is very important. 
Mr. Featherstone, you are an inspiration. I think what you have 
done is just great. I noticed in reading your prepared statement 
that you mentioned that you are an employee-owned company. 
Mr. Featherstone. Yes, sir, since 1985. 
Senator Simon. Is this after you took charge or before? 
Mr. Featherstone. I took charge in 1984, and we converted to 
an employee-owned company January 1st, 1986. I was given 1 
month to either liquidate the company or save it by the board of 
directors. So I went 24 hours a day with Cleveland attorneys, and 
we converted it to an ESOP. That gets into product liability, and 
I don't want to do that today. 

It had no effect on this program until about 2 or 3 years ago. I 
did it entirely wrong. You don't do an ESOP in 1 month. And the 
people woke up on January 1st, owners, and hated it, and told me 
so. They didn't understand equity, and that was another reason for 
education. I promised them a seat on the hoard when they knew 
how to run the business, and I wanted to do the education also, to 
allow each one of them to run the business. And we have accom- 
plished that — or, they have accomplished that; I haven't. 

Senator SiMON. First, I happen to believe that, longterm, these 
ESOPs are great things. 
Mr. Featherstone. They are excellent. 

Senator Simon. But I think the reality is that they will only 
make up a minority of American businesses. 

What if Harry Featherstone himself owned that business com- 
pletely, you owned 100 percent of the stock; could you have done 
what you did? 

Mr. Featherstone. Oh, yes. I can name many companies of 
1,100 people, 4,000 people across the United States that have done 
what I have done — and we are sort of a fraternity now, and we talk 
to each other all the time about accomplishments. The medical ac- 
complishment and the workers' comp accomphshment is pretty 
much the same across the United States with these people. And 
most of these are privately owned. I say I would have liked to have 
done this with Ford back in the sixties when I was there, but I re- 
alize very deeply that the times weren't right at that time, because 
he as talking about the forties, and the sixties were different. 

The time is now, and it is a sense that the laboring person — and 
I get calls, believe it or not, from factories in Philadelphia, very 
large companies, people who have read about it in the newspaper, 
saying, "Can you help us?" So the time is now. 
Senator Simon. Well, yours is a great story. 

Our friend John Sweeney, you mentioned that education pro- 
grams are often too employer-specific, and you mentioned in re- 
sponse to Senator Kassebaum the types of classes that are held. 
Are these classes that are upgrading the general skills, or are these 
classes that are, for example, teaching people how to handle pa- 
tients who come in to an emergency room. 


Mr. Sweeney. They are all of that and more. We have such a 
wide range of programs that I could cite. I could cite a building 
service program in New York where, as a result of some help from 
the Labor Department, a jointly- trusteed fund was created where 
workers who performed tasks such as porter work go to school on 
their own time — ^it is a program certified by the City of New York — 
and upgrade their skills into different areas of expertise, such as 
locksmith, air conditioning repair, different areas of security, and 
so on. That is all ont he worker's own time. In conjunction with 
that, there is a high school equivalency program, there is an Eng- 
lish language program. Depending on the needs of the workers, the 
program is tailored according to those needs. 

Senator Simon. Is this legislation going to help in encouraging 
what you see as the needs of those people? 

Mr. Sweeney. We firmly believe that this legislation will help 
provide a momentum for establishing similar kinds of programs all 
over the country, with similar kinds of standards. 

Senator Simon. Mr. Featherstone, can I ask you the same? 

Mr. Featherstone. Yes, I feel this legislation is needed and, if 
tailored correctly, will be the future of the United States. 

Senator Simon. When you say "tailored correctly," you have some 
specific suggestions, or at least, the NAM has. On reflection, if you 
have additional suggestions, we'd be happy to hear from you. 

Mr. Featherstone. I couldn't sit here and try to suggest. If the 
committee that is formed would like to have me talk to tnem about 
various areas, I would love to do so. I would correct one thing — 
I did not do this; the 300 people in our factory did it, and you 
should come and talk to them, and then you would know what edu- 
cation in math is about, and the clerical, and so on. It has been 
a very deep thing with me for 8 years, and as it goes on — ^we just 
yesterday added Swedish and French for September 1st, and we 
are going to add sign in one of our plans, and we are going to try 
to use hearing impaired — but these are my suggestions and factory 
suggestions, people's suggestions. These are ideas and concepts 
that flow from education. And I would be happy and more than 
pleased to work with the committee. 

Senator Simon. That is great. How many places in this country 
are offering Swedish and French? It's a great tribute to you and 
also to those 300 people. 

Mr. Featherstone. Thank you. 

Senator Simon. I thank all three of you. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. How is your company doing? 

Mr. Featherstone. Very good. 

The Chairman. I'm really glad we got that answer. 

Mr. Featherstone. Yes. We did very poorly last year; we had a 
recession in the last 3 years, and we are exploding now--if I can 
just get the bankers to come through, we're going to go for it. 

The Chairman. We thank you all very, very much and appreciate 
your appearance. 

We are pleased to have with us today Linda Morra, director of 
education and employment issues in the human resources division 
of the General Accounting Office. Ms. Morra will testify this morn- 
ing on the recent results of a recent study by GAO, scheduled for 


release next week, on various occupational skills standards and 
certification systems. And we also have with us Larry Lorber, of 
the law firm of Vemer, Liipfert, Bemhard, McPherson and Hand, 
who will give us his views on the interplay between provisions of 
S. 846 and the civil rights laws. Mr. Lorber served as director of 
the Office of Federal Contract Compliance in the Ford administra- 
tion and has represented a number of business clients on civil 
rights issues. Well ask you both to come forward, please. 
Ms. Morra, we'd be glad to hear from you first. 


Ms. Morra. Thank you. I'd like to introduce Sig Nelson, who is 
with me today, who directed the study that I am going to talk 
about today. 

I am going to summarize my comments, but ask that they be in- 
cluded in their entirety. 

The Chairman. Yes, they will be. 

Ms. Morra. Thank you. 

Mr. Chairman, Senator Kassebaum, we are pleased to be here 
today to discuss the results of our recent work on experiences with 
voluntary skill standards and certification systems. We believe 
these experiences can provide some perspective as the committee 
considers legislation related to standards and certification systems. 

Our testimony is based on a study that we have been doing for 
the Joint Economic Committee. We identified 20 established certifi- 
cation systems where industry had invested significant resources to 
provide national credentials to individuals based on industry stand- 
ards. We selected eight of these systems for review which set 
standards for occupations that required less than a bachelor's de- 
gree for entry and that were projected to grow. Some of these sys- 
tems have been successfully implemented; others are struggling. 

In brief, we found that orgEinizations and industries sponsoring 
skill standards and certification systems believed that the time and 
resources devoted to developing and managing such systems is 
well-spent. However, sponsors nave not evaluated the impact of 
these systems on workers or employers. The most important ele- 
ment common to the standards and certification systems we re- 
viewed is industry ownership and control. Obstacles to such sys- 
tems included high cost and difficulties in developing industij coa- 
litions and getting them to agree on standards. Let me expand. 

Sponsoring organizations provided anecdotes to us about benefits 
that accrue to both workers and employers from certification sys- 
tems. They believe that certification has gained higher wages for 
certified workers. For example, the International Association of 
Bridge, Structural, and Ornamental Ironworkers, which represents 
many ironworkers employed as welders, estimated that certified 
welders earn $10,000 to $12,000 more per year than noncertified 


Certification was reported as also benefiting employers by help- 
ing to identify qualified workers, saving money on applicant screen- 
ing. In addition, we were told that certification systems can aid em- 
ployers in recruiting, help them assess the quality of training pro- 
grams, and improve Lhe public perception of a firm. However, most 
sponsors could not provide evidence that their systems facilitated 
the hiring and promotion of certified workers, led to wage pre- 
miums or additional training opportunities, or increased worker 
mobility. They also had no data to demonstrate the benefit that 
employers gained by more easily identifying qualified workers. 

Industry ownership and control was the most important element 
of the voluntary skill certification systems we reviewed. We saw 
that it resulted in substantial and ongoing investments of industry 
resources and an interest in assuring that the systems are up- 

A requirement for recertification, which encourages workers to 
keep up with technological change, was also a common element of 
the systems. Certificate programs were either of fixed duration — 
for example, 5 years — ^and required passing another assessment to 
be recertified, or they were permanent, with periodic continuing 
education required. For example, the National Institute for Auto- 
motive Service Excellence, ASE, provides certificates that are valid 
for 5 years for those who pass an exam. After 5 years, workers 
must pass another exam to be recertified. 

Another important element was that individuals' credentials be 
portable from employer to employer and across States. For exam- 
ple, certified welders can move from State to State as jobs appear 
and have their certification honored. Without certification, welders 
seeking work in another State must forego wages while waiting to 
be certified to work on a specific project. 

A final common element was that occupational training providers 
were linked to the certification system. Most systems we reviewed 
v/ere associated with a unit that develops curricula for training 
providers, or accredits training programs directly. 

For example, the Committee on Allied Health Education and Ac- 
creditation of the American Medical Association accredits schools 
for training in medical records technology. Community colleges, 
hospitals, and other training providers base their programs on the 
requirements needed for certification by this group. By using the 
industry standards, the training programs are kept up to date and 
provide training valued by employers in the medical community. 

A common element we expected but did not find was perform- 
ance-based testing to assess competency. Only two of the e^ght cer- 
tification systems used such testing. Sponsors said logistical dif- 
ficulties, high cost, potential problems with unfamiliar equipment, 
and inconsistent ratings by performance assessors were reasons for 
relying on written exams rather than performance tests. 

Associations and industry groups discussed the high cost of de- 
veloping and maintaining certification systems. We could not deter- 
mine exactly how much was spent because many of the expendi- 
tures were in-kind contributions of staff time and materials over 
several years. Three of the eight systems we examined were finan- 
cially self-sustaining, through exams and other fees. We were told 


that the other systems lose money but are continued because of the 
industries' commitment and behef in their value. 

The development time for the eight systems we examined ranged 
from 2 years to 7 years. During these periods, program sponsors in- 
vest substantial staff time in support of the programs, without as- 
surance that the system will sustain itself financially. In addition 
to the development time, it takes years to gain national credibility 
and acceptance across the spectrum of employers, workers, and 

educators. j j «- i . j 

Associations and industry groups also indicated difficulty m de- 
veloping industry coalitions to develop the systems. Employers may 
share common skill needs, but they often have difficulty organizing 
to jointly identify and document those needs and overcome competi- 
tive differences. 

We also observed that generally, no central body or administra- 
tive structure exists to lend credibility to standards and certifi- 
cation systems that are developed by industry representatives and 
to help market them throughout the industry. Without assistance 
in advertising, promotion and organizing industry and labor to sup- 
port these efforts, new programs find it difficult to convince 
nonparticipating employers and workers of the system's benefits. 

Another obstacle we found is that many disagree on how broadly 
the occupations, and thus the standards, should be defined. Em- 
ployers fear that workers receiving broad training will move to 
competitors; workers fear that specific training will decrease their 
job mobility. 

Finally, none of the systems we reviewed had developed and 
maintained a true collaboration of stakeholders — employers, edu- 
cators, and workers. The systems, with the exception of operating 
engineers, did not seek to involve workers or their representatives 
in the development or the maintenance of the certification pro- 

Certification sponsors told us that Federal support and collabora- 
tion could help foster the broad-based development of skill stand- 
ards and certification systems. In addition, they indicated that Fed- 
eral efforts will not be effective without industry ownership and 
control of standards and certification systems, industry commit- 
ment to training and incentive to workers. 

Many of the duties and activities identified in S. 846 for the Na- 
tional Skills Standards Board ate consistent with the activities we 
were told the Federal Government could appropriately assume to 
foster the development, acceptance and use of skill standards and 
certification systems. These include, for example, maintaining a 
clearinghouse and facilitating the formation of industry, labor, and 
education coalitions. However, with regard to any Federal role, our 
discussions made it clear that industry ownership and control was 
seen as essential to the development and acceptance of standards 
and certification systems. 

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my testimony. I would be glad to 
answer any questions you might have. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Morra follows:] 


Prepared Statement of Linda G. Morra 

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we are pleased to be here today 
to discuss the results of our recent work where we reviewed the experiences of spon- 
sors of voluntary skill standards and certification systems. We believe these experi- 
ences can provide some perspective as the committee considers legislation (S. 846, 
the "Goals 2000: Educate America Act") related to the development and adoption of 
a voluntary national system of skill standards and certification. 

Our testimony is based on our forthcoming report, prepared at the request of the 
Joint Economic Committee, on occupational skill stanaards and certification systems 
operating in the United States. ^ We identified 20 established certification systems 
\mere industry had invested significant resources to provide national credentials to 
individuals based on industry standards. We selected eight systems for review from 
this larger group, which set standards for occupations that required less than a 
bachelors degree for entry and that were projected to grow. Some of these systems 
have been successfully implemented, while others are struggling to get established 
in their industry. 

In brief, we found that organizations and industries sponsoring skill standards 
and certification systems believe that the time and resources devoted to developing 
and managing such systems were well-spent and represent wise investments in the 
future of their industry. However, sponsors have not evaluated the impact of these 
systems on workers or employers. The most important element common to the 
standards and certification systems we reviewed is industry ownership and control. 
Contrary to common belief, the process of identifying occupational skill standards 
was not seen by certification sponsors as a formidable obstacle to establishing cer- 
tification systems, but they did see other factors as obstacles, such as high costs and 
difficulties in developing industry coalitions and getting them to agree on standards. 


Skill standards identify the knowledge and skills needed to perform satisfactorily 
in the workplace; certification indicates the attainment of these skills and knowl- 
edge by an individual, usually through competency-based assessment. Based on cri- 
teria developed with the help of experts, we selected 8 of the 20 standards and cer- 
tification systems for further review. We chose occupations that represent a variety 
of areas: automobile mechanic; medical records technician; heating, ventilation, and 
air-conditioning service technician; operating engineer; medical or clinical laboratory 
technician; welder; printing technician; and craflworker (that is, stone mason and 
carpenter). Sponsors gave us available information on program participants, costs, 
and funding. We also interviewed Labor and Education officials, reviewed activities 
of the Secretary of Labor's National Advisory Commission on Work-Based Learning, 
and reviewed Labor and Education grants for activities related to the development 
of occupational skiU standards and certification systems. 

The Federal Government, through Labor's Office of Work-Based Learning and 
Education's Office of Vocational and Adult Education, supports the development of 
these systems through demonstration grants and other activities. The Carl D. Per- 
kins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act Amendments of 1990 call for 
the development of statewide systems of standards and measures of performance, 
including measures of job or work skill attainment. The amendments also authorize 
the Secretary of Education to establish a program of grants for industry, labor, and 
education groups to develop national standards for competencies in industries and 
trades. As a result. Education and Labor awarded 13 grants totaling $4.7 million 
to industry coalitions for the development of skill standards and certification sys- 
tems. In addition, Labor^s National Advisory Conunission on Work-Based Learning 
is reviewing issues related to their development, including issues of access to pro- 
grams related to the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

Voluntary systems of industry-driven skill standards with assessment and certifi- 
cation are not common in the United States. However, the industries we reviewed 
have made an investment in skill standards and certification systems for their 
workers because they see this to be in their best interests for various reasons. Some 
of the sponsors perceived a shortage of skilled workers in their fields; others saw 
the mutual benefits to employers and workers of a higher skilled, credentialed work 
force; while still others responded to what they considered to be external threats. 

1 Skill Standards: Experience in Certification SystemB Shows Industry Involvement to be Key 
(GAO/HRD-93-90, expected May 1993). 



Sponsoring organizations provided anecdotal information about benefits that ac- 
crue to both workers and employers from certification systems. For example, they 
believe that certification has gained higher wages for certified workers. Tne inter- 
national Association of Bridge, Structural, and Ornamental Ironworicers, whidi rep- 
resents many ironworkers employed as welders, estimated that certified welders 
earn $10,000 to $12,000 more per year than noncertified welders. 

Certification was reported as also benefiting employers by helping to identify 
qualified workers, saving money on applicant screening. For example, on-site certifi- 
cation of welders requires testing wonters (at an estimated cost of $200 to $700 per 
worker) before they can be hired. An official of the ironworkers union believes that 
the hiring of workers with standardized and portable certification could reduce, and 
even eliminate, this expense. In addition, we were told that certification systems can 
aid employers in recruiting, help them assess the quality of training programs, and 
improve the public perception of a firm. However, most system representatives we 
contacted could not provide evidence that their systems facilitated the hiring and 
promotion of certified workers, led to wage premiums or additional training opportu- 
nities, or increased worker mobility. They also had no data to demonstrate the bene- 
fit that employers gained by more easily identifying qualified woricers. 


Common elements among systems that we reviewed included industry ownership 
and control, recertification recjuirements to keep certificate holders' skills current, 
national portability of credentials, and integration of industry standards with edu- 
cation providers through some sort of accreoitation program. While we expected to 
find that performance^ased assessments were among elements common to these 
systems, this was not the case. 

Industry ownership and control was the most important element of the voluntary 
skill certincation systems we reviewed. We saw that it resulted in substantial and 
ongoing investments of industry resources and an interest in assuring that the sys- 
tems are updated. Industry representatives, together with educators and workers, 
were primarily responsible for setting standards and developing test content. Spon- 
sors from each of the eight systems maintained than their industries' continued 
commitment of resources and time ensures that the standards and assessment 
mechanisms keep current with technological changes. 

A requirement for recertification, which encourages workers to keep up with tech- 
nological change, was also a common element of^certification systems. Certificate 
programs were either of fixed duration (for example, 5 years) and required passing 
another assessment to be recertified or permanent with periodic continuing edu- 
cation required (every 2 to 4 years, depending on the system). For example, the Na- 
tional Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) provides certificates valid 
for 5 years for those who pass an examination. Afler 5 years, workers must pass 
another exam to be recertified. 

Another important element was that individuals' credentials be portable from em- 
ployer to emplover and across States. Workers would then be encouraged to seek 
certification. All ei^t systems we reviewed established credentials that are valid 
nationwide. For example, certified welders can move from State to State as jobs ap- 
pear and have their certification honored. Without certification, welders seeking 
work in another State must forgo wages while waiting to be certified to work on 
a project. 

A final common element was that occupational training providers were linked to 
the certification system. Most certification systems we reviewed were associated 
with a unit that develops curricula for training providers or accredits training pro- 
grams directly. This linkage aids providers in developing updated curricula and 
training programs and ensures that educational programs are responsive to employ- 
ers' needs. For example, the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accredita- 
tion of the American Medical Association accredits schools for training in medical 
records technology. Community colleges, hospitals, and other training providers base 
their programs on the requirements needed for certification by this group. By using 
the industry standards, the training proerams are kept up-to-date and provide 
training valued by employers in the meoical community. 

A common element we expected but did not find was performance-based testing 
to assess competency. Only two of the eight certification systems used such testing; 
the rest used written exams. Although sponsors believed that their certification pro- 
grams accurately assessed individual skuls and competencies, the assessment meas- 
ures used are still a significant issue. Some educators and academics maintain that 
performance-based testmg is the best method to measure skill competency. Sponsors 


said that logistical difiiculties, high costs, potential problems with unfamiliar equip- 
ment, and inconsistent ratings by performance assessors were reasons for relying 
on written rather than performance tests for assessment. 


While we observed common characteristics among these systems, we also noted 
that implementing certification systems was diflicult. Certification sponsors faced 
obstacles in establishing and implementing these systems. Program sponsors identi- 
fied six specific obstacles: high costs to develop and maintain systems, the long time 
recjuired for system acceptance, difficulties in developing industry coalitions and 
reaching agreement on standards, the lack of a structure for promoting standards 
across the industry, a lack of uniform occupational definitions across employers, and 
the problems in bringing all stakeholders together to develop these systems. Con- 
trary to conunon belief, the process of identifying occupational skill standards was 
not seen by certification sponsors as a major obstacle to establishing certification 

High Cost of Developing and Maintaining Certification Systems 

Associations and industiy groups reported large expenditures over several years 
to develop such systems. We could not determine, however, exactly how much was 
spent because many expenditures were in-kind contributions of staff time and mate- 
rials over several years and could not be separately quantified. Association and in- 
dustry groups also noted substantial costs to maintain these systems. For example, 
they pomted to the costs associated with designingand admimstering exams at nu- 
merous sites and continually updating standards. Three of the eight systems we ex- 
amined (ASE, Medical Laboratory Technicians, and Medical Records Technicians) 
were financially self-sustaining tnrou^ exam and other fees. We were told that 
other systems lose money but are continued because of the industries' commitment 
and beUef in their potential value. 

Lone TYme Required for System Establishment and Acceptance 

The development time for the eight systems we examined ranged from 2 to 7 
years. During these periods, program sponsors invest substantial staff time in sup- 
port of programs, but do not have assurance that the system will sustain itself fi- 
nancially. In addition to the development time, it takes years to gain national credi- 
bility and acceptance across the spectrum of employers, workers, and educators. 

Difficulty in Developing Industry Coalitions to Develop Systems 

Associations and industry groups indicated that employers may share common 
skill needs, but they often have difficulty organizing to jointly identify and docu- 
ment those needs, overcoming competitive dilTerences, allaying fears of "pirating", ^ 
and sharing the costs of curriculum development and assessment. Even wtiere coali- 
tions are easier to form, such as in tightly linked industries or segments of an in- 
dustry, problems may arise in implementing a nationwide progrtim. For example, 
labor and employer representatives operate local apprenticeship programs for the 
operating engineers (operators of construction equipment, such as bulldozers, 
cranes, and roadgraders). The local programs and the International Union of Oper- 
ating Engineers developed performance-based standards because their individual 
apprenticeship training programs lacked uniform training methods and materials. 
Elven though these apprenticeship programs are linked together, they ultimately op- 
erate independently and the use of the standards is not mandatory. Only about one- 
third of the training sites use performance-based standards and training materials. 

Lack of Structure to Disseminate information and Promote Certification 

For most of the eight industries, we observed that no central body or administra- 
tive structure exists to lend credibility to standards and certification developed by 
industry representatives and to help market them throughout the industry. Without 
assistance in advertising, promotion, and organizing industry and labor to support 
these efforts, new programs fmd it difficult to convince nonparticipating employers 
and workers of the system's benefits. In many cases, no single organization or group 
represents all workers in an occupation spread across various U.S. industries. For 
example, the American Welding Society (AWS) has 41,000 members, which include 
welders and other industry members, but the Department of Labor has identified 
318,000 welders and cutters nationwide. 

' "Pirating" cxcurs when employers not contributing to the costs of maintaining a certification 
system "steal" certified, trained workers. 


Occupations Not Defined Uniformly Across Employers 

We found that standards can be specific or general, depending on whether an oc- 
cupation is deiined narrowly or broadly. Experts and industry representatives dis- 
agree on the breadth of standards and now occupations and, thus, standards, should 
be defined. Employers fear that workers receiving broad training will move to com- 
petitors; workers fear that specific training will decrease their iob mobility. AWS, 
recognizing the differences among welders by industry, developed general standards 
but made supplements available for specific industries, such as boilermakers, plas- 
tics, and the military. 

Inability to Bring All Stakeholders Together in Developing a System 

Nonr of the systems we reviewed had developed and maintained a true collabora- 
tion of stakeholders: employers, educators, and workers. Although collaboration with 
workers is said to be key to many of the systems operating in competitor nations, 
the systenis we reviewed — with the exception of the operating engineers — did not 
seek the involvement of workers or their representatives in the development or 
maintenance of their certification programs. However, many experts believe that 
this collaboration is crucial to their success. 



Certification sponsors said that Federal support and collaboration could help fos- 
ter the broad-based development of skill standards and certification systems. How- 
ever, no consensus was evident on how such Federal support should be provided. 
In addition, they indicated that Federal efforts will not be effective without industry 
ownership and control of standards and certification systems, industry commitment 
to training, and incentives to woriiers who attain higner skills. Representatives of 
the various industries and certification groups suggested several potential Federal 
roles for encouraging the development of standards and certification that include the 

The Federal Government could potentially lower total costs of developing such 
systems and reduce the long time required for system acceptance by'provioing infor- 
mation services for skiU standards and certification, such as 

• maintaining a clearinghouse on existing standards and certification systems, 

• developing and funding promotional materials and funding promotional ac- 
tivities, and 

• providing technical assistance to industry to develop standards. 

The sponsors also said that the Federal Government could pwtentially help over- 
come difficulties in developing industry coalitions and a lack of a structure for pro- 
moting standards across industry by 

• facilitating the formation of industry, labor, and education coalitions, and 

• mediating disagreements over the composition of industry groups. 

In addition, we were told that the Federal Government might assist in providing 
a uniform definition of occupations and reduce barriers to bringing all stakeholders 
together to develop such systems by 

• assisting to develop agreed-upon definitions of industry, 

• integrating standards with Federal and State requirements (for example, 
State highway departments, and militaay), and 

• providing a mechanism to link standards systems with vocational education 
through eoucation and training funding. 

Finally, the sponsors thought that the Federal Government could potentially play 
an oversight role by 

• evaluating the impact of certification on employers and workers in the mar- 

• recognizing industry coalitions and resulting standards, 

• ensuring that tests are free from bias and discrimination, and 

• ensuring equal access to certification. 

In conclusion, many of the duties and activities identified in S. 846 for the Na- 
tional Skill Standards Board, which encourage, promote, and assist in the voluntary 
development and adoption of skill standards, are consistent with the activities we 
were told the Federal Government could appropriately assume to foster the develop- 
ment, acceptance, and use of skill standards and certification systems. These in- 
clude, maintaining a clearinghouse, and facilitating the formation of industry, labor, 
and education coalitions. However, with regard to any Federal role, our discussions 


with certification sponsors made it clear that industry ownership and control waa 
seen as essential to the development and acceptance of standardJs and certification 

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony. I will be happy to answer any ques- 
tions that you or members of the committee mi^t have. 

The Chairman. Mr. Lorber. 

Mr, Lorber. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Kassebaum. 

I have practiced in the area of equal emplojnTient for over 20 
years, in the Government and in private sector; most recently, I 
was chief counsel to the Business Roundtable during its efforts to 
help fashion a workable compromise to the Civil Rights Act of 
1991. While, as you know, that initiative did not result in a final 
recommendation for consideration, I think much of the impetus for 
the final bill which did nass can be traced to the Roimdtable's civil 
rights discussions. 

It is with this background that I have been asked to discuss only 
one aspect of S. 846, the treatment in Title IV of the interplay be- 
tween the civil rights laws and the mission of the proposed Na- 
tional Skills Standards Board. 

As this committee surely recalls, much of the debate in the 22- 
month legislative process leading to the passage of the 1991 Act 
was over framing language which would achieve the purpose of fur- 
thering equal employment without creating legislative imperatives 
for quotas. Indeed, during the course of the debate, the Congress 
acted rather decisively to prohibit test or score adjustment for the 
express purpose of achieving numerical parity of results. That prac- 
tice, which is known as "norming," was initially encouraged by the 
Federal Government as a means of ensuring that the results of the 
skill inventory tests given by State employment service offices be 
racially balanced. 

The language currently in the bill, I believe, in 403(b)(2)(D) 
seems to require precisely the same result. The skill standards are 
apparently going to be voluntary national standards, and the 
standards designers will obviously have no basis to determine who 
or how many individuals will avail themselves of the certification 
process, or which jobs will be included, or which employers will rely 
on them. 

Thus, the only way to avoid disparate impact will be to design 
standards with the sole criterion of achieving numerically equal re- 
sults. I think it is disturbing that, after the 1991 debates, this leg- 
islation moves back to requiring equal results as a mandatory legal 

There is another, I think, possibly even more or equally trouble- 
some requirement in the bill — and again, I am speaking about the 
employment context, because that is what Title IV is about — and 
that is the concept of test fairness. Test fairness evolved in the 
early 1970's. It presumed that score differentials or result differen- 
tials between different groups could be dealt with by separately 
validating the test for each particular group, or designing separate 
cut-offs or criteria. This so-called "fairness analysis" would lead to 
either different cut-off scores by group or score adjustment, which 
is "norming" the scores, so that the final rankings of applicants 
would reflect the internal score adjustments. Under any variant, 
the outcome would be numerical parity. 


I think this is social engineering masquerading as science. The 
concept of "test fairness" has been described by the industrial psy- 
chological impression as — and I am quoting them — "a social rather 
than a psychometric concept. Its definition depends upon what one 
considers to be fair. Fairness has no single meaning. There is no 
compelling research literature or theory to suggest that cognitive 
tests should be used differently for different groups." And I think, 
further, the concept of "test fairness" has generally been rejected 
by the courts. 

Thus, I think it is rather disturbing to see in this legislation, 
which is designed to deal with a very serious social problem, the 
concept of fairness and requiring that the standards be assessed or 
validated for fairness, or any of the other language which brings 
in the concept of "test fairness." 

And I think finally, perhaps most importantly, the concept of 
"test fairness" as it has been defined by indeed its proponents was 
debated at length by the Congress and rejected in 1991, when vou 
enacted Section 106 of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits 
"norming," test adjustment or score adjustment for purposes of ra- 
cial or any other type of parity. 

In addition, while I understand that as of now, S. 846 remains 
unchanged, I have been led to understand that the Department of 
Labor has submitted various amendments to this committee and to 
the House, designed, I believe, to resolve the so-called civil rights 
issues, and I would like to briefly discuss those as I have been led 
to believe they provide. 

I do understand that the disparate impact language has been 
taken out, or will be taken out, of the bill, and if that's the case, 
obviously that is an improvement. However, the revised language 
recommends — indeed, requires — ^the skill standards boards to dis- 
seminate and discuss the implications of the Civil Rights Act with 
respect to the standards, and I think that, though on its face is a 
fairly innocuous requirement, does cause some trouble. I would re- 
mind this committee that the Congress itself precluded itself from 
entering legislative history when it passed the 1991 Civil Rights 
Act, precisely to avoid the variant oi definitions and explanations 
of what the law means. As you know, this was a highly contentious 
issue, and I think it was determined, probably wisely so, to best 
leave those definitions to the courts or the agencies which are 
charged with dealing with that. ' 

This board, which is properly to be focused on analyzing and in- 
terpreting and then defining skills, is not in the business, properly 
so, to define what the equal employment laws are, and to put that 
requirement on this board brings yet another interpretation into 
law from a body which simply has neither the authority nor the ju- 
risdiction to do that. 

Further, there is one, I think, very troubling, as I understand it, 
proposed amendment which provides an interesting basis, that em- 
ployers who use these standards, rely upon these standards — Mr. 
Featherstone said hire their employees based upon their attain- 
ment of these standards — would nevertheless be prohibited from 
relying upon these standards if they are challenged in the courts 
on the basis of employment practices. I think it is fairly disingen- 
uous to undertake this very significant national effort to try to es- 


tablish national skill standards, and yet an employer who relies 
upon these standards would be statutorily precluded from offering 
these standards as an explanation. Nobody, I don't believe, is talk- 
ing about creating a safe harbor, or an exclusion from the civil 
ri^ts laws for emoloycrs if they happen to hire individuals who 
possess these skill standards. However, to statutorily preclude 
them from raising the fact that they relied upon these standards 
in the court, I think is a rather strange policy, and it indicates that 
the Government seems to be disclaiming its product as having any 
legal meaning. 

Finally, briefly, Mr. Tucker referred to the Griggs decision and 
the fact that that should underlie this effort as well as all others. 
Again, as the members certainly recall, Griggs had many mean- 
ings, and that was debated at len^h for 20 months. But I think 
the one salient aspect of Griggs which I know the Business Round- 
table effort tried to get into play and tried to encourage and, I 
think really, the major holding of that decision, was the language 
in Griggs which said that employers could set their standards as 
high as they want, as long as thev are consistent with business ne- 
cessity. It was not minimal standards; it was in an effort to try to 
increase the standards and to allow employers to do that as long 
as those new standards were indeed consistent with business ne- 
cessity in the employment context. 

I think the great concern of overlaying this legislation with var- 
ious concepts, words, all of which unfortunately either have tech- 
nical or legal meaning, even though they might sound perfectly 
reasonable, such as fairness, outside the courts or the halls of aca- 
deme, or the psychologists' debates, simply overlays this legislation 
with legal and technical impediments which simply can't help the 
process and probably will hinder it. 

So it seems to me that, having gone through those civil rights is- 
sues and listening to the testimony this morning, that other than 
providing, as the legislation does, and as it should, that the stand- 
ards should be in compliance with the laws and should not serve 
tc discriminate, adding all of these extra requirements, adding ail 
of these extra provisions, simply overlays and might in fact weigh 
down the goals of this legislation, and Title IV in particular, be- 
cause employers unfortunately know that, while Mr. Featherstone 
said that his workers' compensation costs went from $140,000 to 
$600, they are also well aware of recent decisions under the new 
civil rights law where damage awards have now even exceeded the 
caps that the Congress has put on them. 

So I think it is not a very good bargain to trade a workers' com- 
pensation cost for a litigation cost, and perhaps the best way to do 
that would be to not encumber this legislation with issues that 
might be best decided or debated in another context. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Lorber follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Larry Z. Lorber 

Chairman Kennedy, Senator Kassebaum, members of the committee: 
My name is Lawrence Lorber. I am a partner in the law firm of Vemer, Liipfert, 
Bernhard, McPherson and Hand where I practice employment law. I began my ca- 
reer as an attorney in the Labor Department where I was eventually appointed by 
Secretary John Dunlop to the position of Director of the Office of Federal Contract 


Compliance Programs, the agency which enforces the Federal Government's aflirma- 
tive action programs. During nw tenure as Director, the first regulations under Sec. 
503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 were issued. Throughout my career in private 
practice, I have had the opportunity to participate in many of the major legislative 
activities in the field of equal employment law. Most recently, I was chietcounsel 
to the Business Roundtable during its efibrts to help fashion a workable compromise 
for the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991. While the Business Roundtable initiative 
did not itself result in a final recommendation for Congressional consideration, 
much of the impetus for the fin-il bill which did pass can he traced to the Business 
Roundtable — Civil Rights community discussions. It is with this background that I 
have been asked to mscuss one aspect of S. 846, the treatment in Title FV of the 
interplay between the Civil Rights laws and the mission of the proposed National 
Skill Standards Board. 

The legislation sets out an ambitious mission for the Board — to assist in the de- 
velopment and encourage the adoption of national skill standards for designated oc- 
cupational clusters. Almost every job in the United States economy wiU be evaluated 
and categorized and criteria for workplace participation will be established. The leg- 
islation directs the Board to incorporate the deaigns of the proposed National Edu- 
cation Goals Panel as well as to develop standards which recognize the require- 
ments of high performance work organizations; allow for regular updating and the 
incorporation of technological advances; allow for worker mobility and retraining as 
well as providing for continuous assessment of the standards. And, as it should, the 
legislation directs that the standards not be discriminatory with respect to race, 
gender, age, ethnicity, disability or national origin. However, in addition to these 
goals and criteria, the legislation rather inexplicably detours to require specific, con- 
troversial and even questionable actions which raise once again issues that the Con- 
gress and the Nation thought finally addressed in November 1991, when the Civil 
Rights Act was signed into law. 

The legislative mandate to the Board to develop a system of assessment sad cer- 
tification for the national skill standards requires that the Board: 

"(C) include methods for validating the fairness and efiectiveness of the as- 
sessment and certification system; and 
"(D) utilize certification technioues that are designed to avoid disparate im- 

!)acts (which, for the purposes of this subparagraph, means substantially dif- 
ierent rates of certification) against individuals based on race, gender, age, eth- 
nicity, disability or national origin." §403(bX2XC) (D). 

As tJiis committee surely recalls, much of the debate in the 22 month legislative 
process leading to the passage of the 1991 Civil Rights Act was over framing lan- 
guage which would achieve the purposes of furthering equal employment without 
creating legislative imperatives for quotas. Indeed, during the course of the debate, 
the Congress acted decisively u) explicitly prohibit test or score adjustment for the 
express purpose of achieving numerical parity of results. That practice, which is 
known as "norming," was Laitially encouraged by the Federal Government as a 
means of insuring that the results of skill inventory tests given by State employ- 
ment services be racially balanced. The language in §403(bX2XD) seems to require 
precisely the same result. The skill standards are apparently going to be voluntary 
national standards. The standards' designers will have no basis to determine who 
or how many individuals will avail themselves of the certification process or which 
jobs will actually be included in any standard. Thus, the only way to "avoid" dispar- 
ate impact will be to design standards with the sole criteria of achieving numeri- 
cally equal results. It is disturbing that after the 1991 debates this legislation nev- 
ertheless requires equal results as a mandatory legal criteria for the setting of skiU 
standards for almost every job in our society. 

Section 403(bX2)C) creates an equally troublesome requirement. The concept of 
validation in the equal employment context has long been debated in the courts and 
by the regulators. It is a statistical and psychological concept which attempts to pro- 
vide assurance that the test or selection device actually measures what it purports 
to measure. That is, does an employment selection procedure actually result in more 
qualified employees being selected. However, validation is a complicated and expen- 
sive process which has unfortunately been used at times not to further the science 
of test development but to inhibit it in the name of equal employment by prohibiting 
the use of objective selection devices. In particular, a theoretical concept evolved in 
the earliest days of Title VII known as Test Fairness. Test Fairness presumed that 
sco;-e differentials between different groups could be dealt with by separately vali- 
dating the test for each particular group. This so-called Taimess" analysis would 
lead to either different cutoff scores by group or score adjustment, e.g. "norming," 
the scores so that the final rankings of applicants would reflect internal score ad- 


justments. Under any variant the outcome would be numerical parity. This is social 
engineering masquerading as science. The concept of test fau-ne3s has been de- 
scribed by the psychological profession as "a social rather than a psychometric con- 
cept. Its definition depends upon what one considers to be fair. Fairness has no sin- 
gle meaning . . . There is little evidence to suggest that there is differential pre- 
diction for the sexes, and the literature indicates that diflerential prediction on the 
basis of cognitive tests is not supported for the major ethnic groups. There is no 
compelling research literature or theory to cuggest that cognitive tests should be 
usea differently for different groups." ^ And, further, the concept of test fairness has 
generally been rejected in the courts. 

Thus, it is disturbing to see the mandate in §403(bX2XC) that the assessment and 
certification system to be developed by the Board be "Validated for fairness." And 
most importantly, the concept oi test fairness was implicitly debated at length by 
the Congress and rejected in 1991 when it enacted §106 of the Civil Rights Act. 

While the text of S. 846 remains unchanged, I understand that the Department 
of Labor has submitted amendments to the Chairman, and ranking member of this 
conmiittee and to the House which are designed to resolve the civil rights issues. 
I would like to briefly discuss those amendments. I understand that §402(bX2XD) 
regarding the mandate to eliminate disparate impact is being proposed to be deleted 
and replaced instead with language requiring tnat the certification techniques be 
designed to achieve compliance with the civu ri^ts laws. Other amendments re- 
quire the Board to disseminate information regarding compliance with the civil 
rights laws. Finally an amendment has been suggested which will prohibit the en- 
dorsed skill standard or certification from being used to show compliance with the 
civil rights laws. The requirement that the certifications be "validated for fairness" 

In particular, the statutory prohibition on even offering the existence and reliance 
on the skill standard in a legal proceeding is extremely troublesome. It seems ex- 
tremely incongruous for the government to embark upon the difficult task of estab- 
lishing national skill standards for almost eveiy job used in our economy and then 
prohibit those standards from even being relied upon by employers if their employ- 
ment decisions are challenged. Indeed, for many employers who cannot devote the 
significant resources to develop their own individuahzed selection criteria, the pro- 
posed national standards may provide the best means of increasing the abilities and 
productivity of their work force. Yet, if these employers are told that they cannot 
even offer those standards as an explanation for challenged employment decisions, 
then they are faced with the choice of either insuring rrcial, gender, ethnic, origin, 
age and disabled parity in their work force or responding to an expensive lawsuit 
with no defense. It is a strange policy for the government to undertake this major 
effort but to nevertheless disclaim its product as having any legal meaning. 

Further, the charge to the Board to disseminate inlormation about the meaning 
of the Civil Rights laws seems somewhat overreaching. The Board will not be chosen 
for its expertise in the civil rights area but rather for its expertise in job creation 
and job standards. With at least two agencies of the government and the courts all 
beginning to interpret the meaning of the civil rights laws, it would unduly confuse 
the workplace to add yet another voice to the growing chorus of interpretation and 
explanation, particularly a voice with neither expertise nor authority in that com- 
plicated area. 

In view of these issues, and the fact that this legislation is dealing with critical 
societal needs, it would seem most inappropriate that the Educate Ajtnerica Act be 
used to resurrect the difficult debates over preferences and social allocation of iobs 
which the previous Congress and the country experienced and seemingly resolved 
in 1990 and 1991. Therefore, I believe it most appropriate that the few sections of 
this legislation which I have highlighted, as well as the proffered amendments, be 
removed from this legislation so as not to encumber it with the very heavy weight 
of civil rights politics. 

The Chairman. There is no question that we have to be sensitive 
to these issues. As a principal sponsor of the 1991 Civil Rights Act, 
I certainly am sensitive to these issues, and I think it is always 
useful to have input from others as well. As you know, the admin- 
istration has proposed a number of changes to the legislation as in- 
troduced which address the issues that you've raisedf in your testi- 

^ Principles for the Validation and Use of Pe.-sonnel Selection Procedures: Society for Indus- 
trial and Organizational Psychology, American Psychological Association. 


mony. We would welcome any comments that you might have in 
the next couple of days about the changes which address some of 
the matters that you commented on. We will also leave the record 
open for other comments related to the impact of this legislation on 
the question of discrimination in the workplace. 

Thank you. 

I'd like to come back to Linda Morra for a moment. You testified 
that industry ownership and control of the standards process was 
an important common element of the successful systems for the de- 
velopment of the voluntary skill standards which you reviewed for 
your forthcoming report. I take it you mean industry in the sense 
of both management and worker representation, working togeUier, 
rather than just the employer interest alone; is that correct? 

Ms. Morra. We found in seven of the eight industries that we 
looked at in developing the standards that they did not involve 
labor. Only one of the eight involved labor. 

However, most experts believe that there are three parties who 
really should be involved in setting standards and certification sys- 
tems — that is, the employers, the employees — management and 
labor — and certainly, educators. 

The Chairman. In the areas where just the employer was in- 
volved, was there an unwillingness to share with labor information 
which might have assisted in developing standards, or what was 
the attitude? 

Ms. Morra. I don't think it was an unwillingness as much as 
just a sense of industry leading, pulling together the standards, 
working with the educators to make sure the curriculum is there. 
It is not always clear that it was, "Let's exclude this group." 

The Chairman. What was the general attitude that you found 
when you were out there doing this study? 

Ms. Morra. Let me ask Mr. Nelson if he would like to comment 
on that. 

The Chairman. Do you want to identify yourself for the record, 

Mr. Nelson. Yes. I am Sigurd Nelson, and I am an assistant di- 
rector of the U.S. General Accounting Office. 

I would say the reason that these systems were developed varied, 
but for the most part they were driven by the industry interest to 
fix a problem that they had — either they were seeing that in the 
future there was going to be a short supply of skilled labor in par- 
ticular areas, so they were investing to ensure that they would 
have an adequate supply in the future; or that they were able to 
upgrade the work force that they had. But it wasn't a matter of 
necessarily just saying labor could not participate, but they were 
going ahead and doing this as a business or a corporate decision. 

The other thing is — and the other witnesses have referred to 
this — ^the difficulty of getting industry groups together to cooperate 
and form coalitions; that was difficult enough, and I think they 
were happy to get that much going one step further; and then also 
involving labor was something that 

The Chairman. What is the general reluctance? Is it that they 
are concerned about proprietary information being spread about 
the industry, or is it just a kind of inherent reluctance to get off 
the dime? What is it? 


Mr. Nelson. I think it is the inherent reluctance. We don't have 
a history of this kind of collaboration in the country. Marc Tucker 
referred to the systems in Europe; they have a history of broad- 
based industry collaborations in a number of areas, this one being 
one. In the United States, we just don't have that history. 

The Chairmam. It is always amazing to me as a politician that 
the Europeans — who are really much more ideological than we are, 
generally speaking; their political parties and traditions have been 
much more ideological than ours in this society — ^have nevertheless 
been able to cut through the idealogical divisions between manage- 
ment and labor and look at their self-interest, in terms of high 
wages and competitiveness, I think we have got to both be aware 
of and take a lesson from that. 

Mr. Nelson. Yes. I think as you point out, the view is what is 
your time horizon, what is your planning horizon. I think they are 
able to take a much longer view of things, and that it takes some 
time to get return on these investments. That is one thing we saw 
in these systems; it took a long time not only to develop the stand- 
ards, but also for them to get accepted. And like Mr. Featherstone's 
firm, you need the commitment to a long time in order to get them 
developed and spread and accepted. 

The Chairman. Have you taken a look at the time frame in- 
cluded in the legislation? I think it is 1995. Is that reasonable? 

Ms. MORRA. We know that for the systems that we looked it, it 
took 2 to 7 years to develop them, so that it something that may 
require a substantial amount of time. 

The Chairman. It is December 31, 1995. 

Have you had a chance to look through the legislation — I'd be in- 
terested in whether the conclusions of your study are in any way 
inconsistent with the thrust of this legislation. 

Ms. Morra. I think in many ways they are consistent, because 
officials across these eight industries told us that they saw the Fed- 
eral Government as playing the kinds of roles that are in this bill, 
for the most part. So that we think there is a consistency there. 

Helping with fiinds to develop systems was seen as a good Fed- 
eral role; the helping to bring and develop these coalitions was seen 
as good; helping to develop and fund promotional materials, be- 
cause getting these standards developed was just the first step. It 
was a long road after that in terms of getting people to buy in, ac- 
cept them, and use them. 

So many, many of the activities that are in the bill are consistent 
with what folks thought would be a very good Federal role. 

The Chairman. Finally, what is your off-hand impression about 
the degree of resistance we are likely to encounter to the notion of 
a national board to encourage the development of national skill 
standards? Do you gather there will be resistance, from your own 
interviews with various industry people, or not? Were you able to 
make a judgment or determination on that? I kiiow that wasn't 
specifically what you were studying, but did you form any impres- 

Ms. MoRRA. I don't know if I'd call it resistance per se, but there 
is difficulty because these organizations don't have — ^let's take the 
welders' association — they don't represent all the welders. They 
represent 41,000 welders and other people, where there are over 


300,000 in the field. So it is hard I think to disseminate and to con- 
vince people that this is a good thing. 

I think that one of the things that might help in tnat regard is 
evaluation information, which really isn't there at this point. While 
people have beliefs about the impact — things such as wage differen- 
tials — they can't really point and say, "L^ok, this is wnat it has 
done in other areas to have these." 

The Chairman. OK Thank you very much. 

Senator Kassebaum. 

Senator Kassebaum. Ms. Morra, I'd like to follow on a little bit 
on that. Did you find any empirical evidence in the eight that you 
studied that there really was an improvement because of the cer- 
tification system and the standards in wage increases or in produc- 

Ms. Morra. We were told that there had been some. For exam- 
ple, the International Association of Ironworkers, which represents 
some of the welders, indicated that there was a salary differential 
of some $10,000 to $12,000 per year for those welders who v/ere 

Senator Kassebaum. Is that the only one you found in the eight 
that you looked at? 

Ms. Morra. The other one that people told us made a difference 
was ASE, the automotive mechanics standards. There, they have 
broad standards and then some other specific credentialing that 
you can get, and there was a differential for each additional cre- 
dential that people were able to get. 

The associations basically didn't gather a lot of information; that 
was not where they were focused, and they really haven't at- 
tempted to gather information. 

Senator Kassebaum. So there really would be no statistics that 
could accurately reflect that. 

Ms. Morra. Right. We couldn't gather any. We tried to gather 
what there was, and they just did not maintain them. 

Senator Kassebaum. It intrigued me when you were talking 
about the welders — these, of course, are voluntary. And you men- 
tioned there are a number of welders not there. Perhaps a Federal 
role, as you said, in focusing attention and helping to disseminate 
the importance of these standards would be useful. But how do you 
bring welders into this initiative if indeed there is really no inter- 
est in participating? 

I guess I'd ask the chairman — how do you think we could reach 
those welders who don't want to participate? 

The Chairman. Well, I think it is probably through the outreach 
programs and self-interest, I would imagine, since these are all vol- 

Senator Kassebaum. That's what I said. They are all voluntary. 

The Chairman. That's right. And how that will work I think is 
a legitimate question. But I think those who have been involved in 
developing skill standards in their industries have found that the 
workers themselves have an interest in supporting the program. I 
think that's an important point, which is that the workers them- 
selves are prepared to respond, and want to respond, and want to 
continue to develop their skills — clearly, those who don't want to, 
you aren't going to be able to deal with the same way. 


Senator Kassebaum. I was curious that under the eight studies 
that they did, it seemed to me there were a lot who were outside 
of the participation. Is that right? 

Ms. MoRRA. I think one of the real issues is the outreach and 
promotion of the systems, and how much money it takes to do that. 
There was one association that was gearing up, and they were 
planning to spend $100,000 on a promotional effort. That is prob- 
ably difficult for many associations to do. 

Senator Kassebaum. You mentioned that the GAO had found 
that industry ownership and control was the most important ele- 
ment of the voluntary skill standards. Do you feel that the skill 
standards board as created under S. 846 is owned and controlled 
by industry? As you know, it is one-third business, one-third union, 
and one-third educators on Government. 

Ms. MoRRA. Let me start off by saving that the industry owner- 
ship was key and is important not only because of the development, 
but what is shown I think so clearly by our study is that the main- 
tenance of these systems is reallv a large, ongoing, continuing ef- 
fort, not only to update the standards, but also the tests that they 
used have to be revised all the time; most are revising them annu- 
ally. So there is a large ongoing effort, and it is like mdustry say- 
ing we are the ones who are going to have to do that, and that is 
one of the reasons we have to be kev in these systems. 

But it is also just critical that industry work with employees and 
work with the educators, and I think you need all three, and that 
is in the bill, because if the employers and industry associations 
don't get this into the education segment, then you aren't achieving 
too much. 

Senator Kassebaum. I thought that was a very important pomt. 
It could be that educators should really be a part of the board in 
a far greater way than they are, as major participants in that rep- 
resentation. Do you think that would be important? 

Ms. MoRRA. I believe that educators should be represented on 
the board; I don't have a sense of what is the right number. 
Senator Kassebaum. Thank you. 

Mr. Lorber, I'd like to ask you, given your experience with the 
whole question of the civil rights bill, do you believe that the skills 
board will have the expertise to determine whether the skill stand- 
ards are consistent with civil rights law? 

Mr. Lorber. Candidly, probably not, I think, and if they deter- 
mine to squeeze the skill standards into whatever that is defined 
to be, it will probably prove to be an impediment to their action. 
My own view is they should act independently, and then the civil 
rights laws are supposed to take the standards that are accepted 
and ensure that they are applied fairly, rather than try to skew the 
standards in their developmental stage to whatever anybody's no- 
tion is. J V • • 
Senator Kassebaum. So as Mr. Tucker mentioned in his testi- 
mony, this is a sensitive issue. 
Mr. Lorber. Absolutely. ^ . i . 
Senator Kassebaum. It came up in the House. I don't think it 
can be ignored, because I believe we really do have to try to recog- 
nize it, and it could pose significant problems in the future if we 
aren't comfortable witn how we deal with it. 


Mr. LoRBEK. Oh, absoiuiely, and the legislation does have a pro- 
vision, as it should, that the standards must be consistent with the 
civil rights laws. I don't think anybody would presume to suggest 

The problem is to then begin to build into those standards other 
overlaying specific issues, some of which are quite controversial. I 
think relying, as the legislation should and probably must have the 
general prohibition against discrimination deals with that. Then 
the problem is that it didn't stop there. 

Senator Kassebaum. In your view, should the skills board evalu- 
ate the skill standards to determine whether the standards comply 
with the civil rights law, or should the process be left to the indi- 
vidual employer? 

Mr. LORBER. Well, I think it should be left to the individual em- 
ployer. Again, if the skill standards board begins to make those de- 
terminations, I think you are going to build in a skewing. And I 
think employers have a right to look to the standards that the 
boards promulgate, try to ensure that the employees they hire meet 
those standards, and then ensure that they do it fairly. That is 
what the civil rights laws require, and I think that is the appro- 
priate and the necessary focus of the civil rights laws. 

Senator Kassebaum. Do you see any reason why the employers 
would utilize the skill standards endorsed by the skills board if em- 
ployees can still sue employers, based on any alleged discrimina- 
tory use of standards? 

Mr. LORBER. I think the problem is that if the employers rely on 
those standards, get sued, and then are precluded from at least of- 
fering up their reliance as a defense, then an employer would have 
to look at this and say it is getting me productivity, but as I said 
earlier, it might be buying me an extraordinarily expensive law- 
suit, and it just doesn't pay. I think it is negating the purpose of 
the standards if the legislation would say, as I gather there is some 
suggestion, that you can't rely on these standards. I think that 
doesn't make any sense as a social policy matter, and certainly 
doesn't make any sense as a legal matter. 

Senator Kassebaum. Well, it seems to me this is an area where 
we really could and should be able to resolve it before it goes any 
further along, because I think the potential is there for problems, 
but it does seem to me it lends itself to some careful analysis and 
some solutions. 

Mr. Lorber. Absolutely. 

Senator Kassebaum. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Of course, no one is attempting to skew the 
standards in any wav. What you want to make sure of is that the 
standards are job-related, and if they are job-related, then that's 
really the key. 

Senator Kassebaum. And as understood by the employer. 

The Chairman. Sure. But as we have established in the civil 
rights laws, if an employer uses a standard that is job-related, and 
it happens that they have more whites than blacks who are able 
to meet the standard, as long as the standard is job-related, then 
that's a defense. That's what the whole debate over the 1991 Civil 
Rights Act was about. 

114 3 9999 05982 536 2 

I think it is fair to note the concerns in this area, and I am glad 
that the comments have been made. I think the administration has 
already addressed those points, but obviously, we always have to 
be careful when we are fashioning legislation about what the col- 
lateral impacts are going to be. As I say, I think we have made im- 
portant progress in addressing these points already, but we are 
also interested in listening to constructive comments. 

We thank all of you veiy much. 

The committee stands in recess. 

[Whereupon, at 12 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]